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Third Princeton man sentenced to life for murder of woman

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Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Ronnie Welborn, 48, of Princeton, received a life sentence after pleading guilty for his role in the murder of Kelli Underwood.

"We're grateful for Texas Ranger Bruce Sherman's outstanding investigative work. It was indispensable in securing justice for Ms. Underwood and her family," added Willis after sentencing.

On Sept. 20, 2017, the victim's adult daughter found her deceased inside her home due to multiple gunshot and stab wounds. Two individuals, Robert Veal and Delvin Powell, were identified by name and description as having been seen with Underwood at her home on the last day she was known to be alive. 

After multiple witness interviews and reviews of cell phone evidence, law enforcement learned that Veal and Powell were hired by Ronnie Welborn and another individual to carry out the murder. All four were ultimately charged in the murder for hire plot.

Judge Angela Tucker assessed the agreed punishment of life in prison. In August 2019, a jury found accomplice Delvin Powell guilty of Capital Murder, and in January 2020, a jury found accomplice Robert Veal guilty of Capital Murder, and both were also sentenced to life in prison.

The case was investigated by Texas Ranger Bruce Sherman, with the assistance of the Collin County Sheriff's Office and the Princeton Police Department. Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Calli Bailey and Dewey Mitchell prosecuted the case, aided by District Attorney Investigator Laurie Gibbs and Victim Assistance Coordinator Stacey Taylor.