Texas man who killed elderly roommate was ‘tired of being tormented,’ warrant says

A Richland Hills man who kept telling his 73-year-old roommate he was “tired of being tormented” used a butcher knife and bread knife when he stabbed and beat her to death, according to a warrant.

Stephan Tufts also killed Paula Kennemer’s dog, leaving the canine dead on a patio and covered with a dog bed, the arrest warrant says.

But a larger black dog found in Tufts’ bedroom was alive, according to the warrant obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Tufts, 27, was arrested Sunday morning at Medical City Green Oaks Hospital in Dallas. A last text to Kennemer from Tufts’ mother said, “Paula, he’s at the house and my boyfriend is taking him to the Crisis Center at Green Oaks where his Dr. is on staff,” according to the warrant.

He was in the Tarrant County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of $165,000 bail. He faces charges of murder and animal cruelty.

The warrant gave this account of the killing:

A neighbor received a telephone call from Kennemer on Friday night, saying Tufts was acting weird and coming in and out of his bedroom slamming doors. He would lie on the living room floor and kept saying “he was tired of being tormented.”

At some point, Tufts went back into his bedroom, broke a window, climbed outside and left on foot.

Kennemer yelled at Tufts, but he ignored her. She then locked the doors and windows.

The neighbor offered to come over to Kennemer’s home, but she declined.

Tufts returned to the Richland Hills home and climbed through the broken window in the 2800 block of Matthews Drive.

Tufts asked Kennemer why she had locked him out and she asked him why he had broken the window. The neighbor told Kennemer she wanted to call the police, but Kennemer declined, saying she was letting Tufts calm down.

The neighbor hung up the telephone. She called Kennemer again at 10:37 p.m. Friday, but Kennemer did not answer.

On Saturday, the neighbor called five times, but Kennemer never answered.

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Saturday, three Richland Hills police officers were dispatched to a welfare check. Another neighbor had called police after going to the home and finding Kennemer’s dog dead.

When they arrived, Richland Hills police found the dog dead on the patio, noticing the canine had pooled blood around the mouth and showed obvious signs of trauma, according to the warrant.

Officers were advised Tufts lived there, but his truck was missing.

Richland Hills police entered the home and found Kennemer’s body in her bedroom. She appeared to have suffered injuries to her head.

Two knives — a butcher and bread knife — were located near her body with blood on them. The bread knife was bent.

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators walked into Tufts’ bedroom, where they found a tennis shoe with blood splattering and cast-off blood on a T-shirt.

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This story was originally published October 15, 2019 12:45 PM.

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