McKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a love triangle and ultimate murder-for-hire plot that ended with a daughter finding her mother shot and stabbed to death inside a North Texas home in 2017. Now the victim’s boss, and former lover, Ronnie Welborn, 48, of Princeton, received a life sentence after pleading guilty for his role in Kelli Underwood’s murder.

Ronnie Welborn, 48, of Princeton, received a life sentence after pleading guilty for his role in the murder of Kelli Underwood. (credit: Collin County Sheriff’s Office)

“We’re grateful for Texas Ranger Bruce Sherman’s outstanding investigative work. It was indispensable in securing justice for Ms. Underwood and her family,” said Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis after sentencing.

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Kelli Lea Graham Underwood, 46 (courtesy: Facebook)

Two men, Robert Veal and Delvin Powell from Plano, 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 Ronnie Welborn and then-girlfriend, Kadie Robinson to carry out the murder. All four were ultimately charged in the murder-for-hire plot.

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Delvin Powell, Ronnie Welborn, Kadie Robinson, Robert Veal (credit: Princeton Police Department)

Judge Angela Tucker assessed the agreed punishment of life in prison. In August 2019, a jury found accomplice Powell guilty of Capital Murder, and in January 2020, a jury found accomplice Veal guilty of Capital Murder, and both were also sentenced to life in prison.

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.

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