WEATHERFORD, Texas (CN) - Landlords' recently paroled son murdered a sickly renter in the house she rented from his parents because she wouldn't let him use her car, the woman's family claims in court.
Hector Trejo, 28, stabbed Linda Surginer Preston to death on Oct. 11, her family claims in Parker County Court. Preston was 47.
Preston's family sued Trejo's parents, Juan and Anita Trejo, and their businesses, Light Remodeling and Quality Roofing by Juan Trejo.
Juan and Anita Trejo owned the rental house that Linda Preston shared with her family about 40 miles west of Fort Worth, the complaint states.
"At the time of the murder, Hector Trejo was on parole for an offense that involved home invasions and tying up and pistol whipping a victim, facts of which defendants were aware," the complaint states.
"He had an extensive and violent criminal history, all of which was well known to defendants and which, in addition to the pistol-whipping incident, included convictions for assault, bodily injury on a family member on two different occasions, burglary, robbery, theft and drug offenses.
"Despite their knowledge and awareness of Hector Trejo's propensity to violent criminal behavior, defendants sent him alone and without supervision of any kind to work on the premises where Linda Preston was alone and particularly vulnerable due to extremely poor health, a condition of which defendants were also aware.
"Defendants created this dangerous situation without regard to the potential consequences and made no effort to warn or protect Linda Preston. As a proximate result of defendants' actions, Hector Trejo stabbed Linda Preston multiple times and ultimately slashed her throat, killing her."
Preston's husband came home to find his wife had been murdered, according to the first of two Oct. 12 press releases from the Parker County Sheriff's Office.
"Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the call came in just before 5 p.m., from a man who reported he entered the residence to find his wife deceased on the floor of the living room," the sheriff said in his statement. "The complainant reported the rear door of the home was opened and the victim's vehicle was missing."
In his second statement, Sheriff Fowler said that after state and federal officers recovered Preston's stolen car, they arrested Hector Trejo at an apartment complex in Fort Worth.
"The suspect was further interviewed by the Texas Rangers and CID investigators," the sheriff said in his second statement. "During those interviews, the suspect implicated himself in the death of Linda Surginer Preston. According to the suspect, an argument ensued between the victim and the suspect regarding Trejo wanting to use the victim's vehicle and her refusal.'"
Linda Preston's husband and two children seek damages and exemplary damages for wrongful death, negligence and gross negligence.
They are represented by Paul Previte of Fort Worth.
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