Abilene police: Man stabbed ex-girlfriend's mother to death, possible motive revealed

Michael Eugene Shubert and Debra Jean Helgerson

ABILENE, Texas - The woman who Abilene police say was murdered by her daughter's ex-boyfriend "appeared to have been stabbed to death," court documents show.

Police went to do a welfare check on Debra Jean Helgerson, 48, on Friday morning when a concerned co-worker at Goodwill-West Texas called to say Helgerson "was supposed to work that day but never showed up," according to documents.

When police arrived at the home Helgerson shared with her daughter in the 700 block of Chaparral Circle, they noticed "the back door had been forced open." Inside, they found a "pair of blue latex gloves that looked out of place" and Helgerson's body.

Police arrested Michael Eugene Shubert, the 38-year-old ex-boyfriend of Helgerson's daughter, around 10:30 a.m. Friday on outstanding warrants and questioned him about Helgerson's murder. He was arrested and charged with murder by 7 p.m.

According to court documents, Shubert's roommate said he told her that he was going to kill someone the night Helgerson was murdered.

During the investigation, police learned Helgerson testified against Shubert four days before the murder. After the hearing, a judge issued a protective order against Shubert that banned him from being around Helgerson or her daughter "because of his violent conduct."

Court documents say Shubert kicked in the same door at Helgerson's house within the past few weeks and had also recently violated another protective order that prevented him from contacting Helgerson's daughter.


A witness told police Shubert was "quite unhappy" with Helgerson for testifying against him. Police say Shubert made it known that he planned to kill her.

One of Helgerson's neighbors reported hearing a scream around 1 or 2 a.m. Friday. Police say that is "consistent with the timing that Shubert indicated that he killed a woman."

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According to police, Shubert contacted his roommate after the murder and said "he needed a ride because he was going to leave town." He was concerned that he had blood on him and asked if there was any blood on his face. Shubert asked his roommate to bring a trash bag for his clothes. Shubert also indicated he lost a pair of blue latex gloves at the crime scene.

Police say someone saw Shubert drop the black trash bag with this bloody clothes in a dumpster near the Canterbury Crossing Apartments.

According to court documents, Shubert then told his roommate that "police would be coming for him in the morning" and told her to say he had been with her all night.