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Princeton man sentenced to life in prison in murder-for-hire case

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District Attorney Greg Willis announced that Robert Veal, 37, of Princeton, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after a jury found him guilty of Capital Murder.

On Sept. 20, 2017, the victim's adult daughter found her mother, Kelli Underwood, deceased inside her home due to multiple gunshot and stab wounds. Veal and an accomplice, 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 two other individuals to carry out the murder. All four were ultimately charged in the murder-for-hire plot. 

The jury's guilty verdict on Capital Murder carried with it, by law, an automatic punishment of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Judge Angela Tucker presided over the case and assessed that automatic sentence.

In August 2019, a different jury found accomplice Powell guilty of Capital Murder, and he was also sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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.