Judge's daughter, 2 children found dead in N. Dallas

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by By REBECCA LOPEZ and JONATHAN BETZ / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

wfaa.com

Posted on December 19, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 19 at 12:39 PM

TDMN
Police are investigating a triple slaying in North Dallas.

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Jonathan Betz reports

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DALLAS - The daughter of a prominent judge and her two young children were found dead at their North Dallas house Friday morning.

It's the same house a home invasion and attempted kidnapping were reported within the past week.

Police aren't ruling out anything in the family tragedy, including murder-suicide.

"We're looking at every different avenue," said Lt. Craig Miller, head of the Dallas Police Department's homicide unit. "This case has taken lots of turns."

Police arrived at the home in the 7200 block of Blairview about 9 a.m., responding to a report off gunfire. When police arrived they found the three bodies - 49-year-old Dallas Realtor Jeanmarie Geis, her eight-year-old son and her four-year-old daughter.

Police said it appeared that each had been shot once.

"We're really early in this thing," Lt. Miller said, adding that while police questioned Frank Geis, the woman's husband, he was not being called a suspect and was later released. Police said he was at a doctor's office at the time of the deaths.

"We're talking to him right now," Lt. Miller said.

News 8 briefly spoke with Jeanmarie Geis just a few days ago following one of the attacks. We agreed not to tell her story at that time.

Many of her neighbors felt she was being targeted, but few imagined that she and her two children would be killed.

"This is the worst thing that could happen to any family," said neighbor Bill Clark.

Frank Geis is the son-in-law of state District Judge Mark Stenson Tolle, who died last year.

Judge Mark Stenson Tolle

Friday's deaths follow a string of attacks apparently targeting Jeanmarie Geis.

The incidents began early this month with a mugging outside her real estate office. It escalated when she said two men in ski masks burst through her home's rear doors on Saturday morning.

Geis told police the intruders beat her husband with a hammer and tied her up with duct tape.

The next morning, Geis reported another attack, in which a man forced her into a car at her mother's home and assaulted her.

She described her attacker as a white man in his mid-20s, about 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. He had a thick Southern accent and a tattoo reading "912"on his neck, she said.

The suspect in that incident reportedly told her: "You're going to be mine. This is for what your sweet daddy did to my family."

"He [Judge Tolle] never embarrassed anyone," said former chief prosecutor John Grau, "but he was known for being very tough and sometimes very harsh in his sentencing."

Jeanmarie Geis told close friend Eric Hansen the same men committed all of the earlier attacks in revenge for one of her father's cases. "She ended almost all of her text messages last week saying her life is over," said Hansen, the son of WFAA-TV Sports Director Dale Hansen.

TDMN
Three people were found dead in a North Dallas house.

But Eric Hansen said he had trouble believing Geis' story. "It didn't sound realistic to me; it sounded ridiculous," he said.

Geis hired a private security firm but police said she dismissed them just two days ago.

Investigators admit this a complicated case that has them chasing several theories.

"None of this story makes sense without extra pieces to it," Eric Hansen said. "It still doesn't make sense."

Police said they have no suspects.

Geis' aunt, Teresa Tolle, a Dallas County misdemeanor court judge and former prosecutor, said she was escorted home from the courthouse Friday by Dallas County sheriff's deputies.

She said she was aware of the couple's recent reports to police but had no idea why her niece may have been targeted.

"She's a wonderful mother,"Judge Tolle said. "This is absolutely incomprehensible."

The Dallas Morning News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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