Arrest made in July 2014 Garland murder of elderly woman

Garland police have arrested a man for the murder of a 71-year-old woman last July.

Janet Vanderslice was found stabbed to death in her Garland home on Lennox Lane on July 19, 2014.

Police released surveillance video from a home across the street a few days after the murder that showed two people walking in her yard.

Detectives later determined the two were Vanderslice and the suspect, David McDermett. He has been charged with murder and is being held at the Dallas County Jail.

Vanderslice owned several rental properties and hired contractors, and McDermett was one of them.


Vanderslice owned several rental properties and hired contractors, and McDermett was one of them.

But the business relationship went south over a roofing contract.

"He was not performing some of the work she had already paid," said Officer Joe Harn with the Garland Police Department. "There were some disagreements going on there."

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, "Phone records revealed that on July 7, Janet called McDermett approximately 19 times throughout the day. (Due to the number of calls it's believed that Janet was angry due to McDermett not doing the job after money was provided, $3,000.)"

It's what McDermett did an hour after the murder that made police focus in on him.

"McDermett tried to cash a check for $2,500 from Janet's account…he was not successful due to the bank being suspicious that the check could be a forgery…he then went to another Chase bank and was successful cashing the check," according to the affidavit.  

Investigators say he even admitted the crime in his police interviews.

"He talked about that he had forged some checks, but he has not admitted to the murder," said Harn.

Besides the check-cashing, McDermett's decision-making raised suspicions.

"On July 28, 2014 McDermett abruptly turns in front of a semi-tractor at highway speed. Witnesses to the accident believed he purposefully pulled in front of the truck and appeared to be a suicide attempt," according to the affidavit.

McDermett suffered a broken leg, but remained suspect number one.


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