Grieving husband hopes lawsuit prompts change following murder of wife and baby

The husband of Kera Teel has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where she and her newborn baby were shot and killed last month.

BEAUMONT - The husband of Kera Teel has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the apartment complex where she and her newborn baby were shot and killed last month.

For a month, Andrew Teel has dealt with the pain of losing both his wife and baby. He explains he wants to protect other families from experiencing the same heartache of losing loved ones.

“I don’t want anybody else to go through what I’ve been through,” said Teel.

The lawsuit, which was filed today by attorney Jefferson W. Fisher, of Orgain Bell & Tucker, alleges that the Sienna Apartment Homes and its management company failed to maintain adequate security measures according to a release from the law firm.

The suit accuses the complex of "premises liability and gross negligence" in the deaths and alleges that the complex and its management company hold some liability in the deaths.

MORE | Press release from Teel family attorney - Scroll down or tap

MORE | Read the lawsuit filing - Scroll down or tap

The suit was filed on behalf of Teel's husband Andrew Teel, their daughter Alaya, 2, and on behalf of Kera Teel and her newborn daughter, Kyndal Jae Teel, who were both shot and killed on June 6, 2017 according to the release.

Andrew Teel was at the couple's apartment when the shooting happened and ran to the scene in time for his 19-year-old wife to die in his arms the release said.

The couple's newborn daughter, Kyndal Jae, died shortly after being delivered at the hospital following the shooting.

Teel said he refuses to go near the Sienna apartment homes because it brings back memories of the night his wife and baby girl were shot to death. He has moved out of the complex and is raising his one-year-old child Alaya with the help from other family members.

“I still feel her presence with me all the time, especially our daughter she has her eyes and looking in her eyes I still see my wife and it is comforting to me,” said Teel.

Beaumont Police officers were called out to the complex on numerous calls for criminal activity at the complex in the months before the murders according to the lawsuit.

The suit also says that tenants had made multiple unresolved complaints to the complex about security issues at the complex.

Only in the days following the death of Teel and her newborn daughter did the complex repair a collapsed fence, fix broken security gates, and repair security lights that had been out complex-wide according to the lawsuit.

 “People need to feel safe at home, especially paying the kind of money they pay for places like Sienna,” said Teel.

A crew fixing a broken security gate within 12 hours of the shooting told a 12News crew that they had been previously scheduled to fix the gate and claimed the timing of the repair was a coincidence. The apartment complex also fixed a fence that fell down and left a gaping hole for anyone to enter the complex.

“If they felt so compelled to do it within days after the shooting why didn’t they feel the same feeling prior too?" asked lawyer Jefferson Fisher. "I think the reason we believe, is that the apartment complex had actual constructive knowledge especially given the long criminal history there at the complex of the lack of security.”

The suit also refers to "unsafe, unsecure, and defective conditions" of the complex and notes the lack of security cameras or guards at the complex.

"Those who hold themselves out to offer security and have the means to provide that security must be held accountable to take up their responsibility," said Fisher.

The suit names Sienna Apartment Homes' owners, ST Partners III, Ltd. and MGroup Holdings, Inc., and property manager, Capstone Real Estate Services, Inc. as defendants the release said.

Teel believes bringing these security problems to light will help him move forward and allow his family to heal.

He also said he promises to let his one-year-old daughter know how much her mother truly loved her.

"Kera and Kyndal will be greatly missed and I'm going to tell my daughter Alaya how great of a person her mother was and she will never be forgotten,” said Teel.




 

Beaumont Police officers were called out to the complex on numerous calls for criminal activity at the complex in the months before the murders according to the lawsuit.

The suit also says that tenants had made multiple unresolved complaints to the complex about security issues at the complex.

Only in the days following the death of Teel and her newborn daughter did the complex repair a collapsed fence, fix broken security gates, and repair security lights that had been out complex-wide according to the lawsuit.

A crew fixing a broken security gate within 12 hours of the shooting told a 12News crew that they had been previously scheduled to fix the gate and claimed the timing of the repair was a coincidence.

The suit refers to "unsafe, unsecure, and defective conditions" of the complex and notes the lack of security cameras or guards at the complex.

"Those who hold themselves out to offer security and have the means to provide that security must be held accountable to take up their responsibility," said Fisher.

The suit names Sienna Apartment Homes' owners, ST Partners III, Ltd. and MGroup Holdings, Inc., and property manager, Capstone Real Estate Services, Inc. as defendants the release said.

Teel Family Lawsuit Press Release

Lawsuit filing

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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