Detroit Woman Faces Life in Prison for Murder of Elderly Childhood Babysitter

In April of this year, 25-year-old Teresa Alvarez was charged with the murder of a 71-year-old woman who had reportedly rescued Alvarez and her brother from homelessness 17 years ago. According to CBS Detroit, Alvarez killed Margaret Theut in a scheme designed to steal thousands of dollars the victim had intended to donate to charity. money-in-hand-1037536-m.jpg

Theut, who lived in Detroit, went missing in November of 2011. In May of 2012 a hunter discovered her decomposed body in a wooded area in Rouge Park as he was hunting for mushrooms. Alvarez was found guilty of murdering her childhood babysitter and was sentenced by Wayne County Circuit Judge Mark T. Slavens on Thursday, December 12.

News reports indicate that Alvarez and her brother cam from an unstable home, and that Theut often babysat the two as children. Upon her arrest, police alleged that Alvarez planned the murder for weeks, telling her friends that the elderly woman had killed herself by overdosing on pills. According to Detroit police homicide investigator Lance Sullivan, Alvarez told friends she was going to attend the victim’s funeral after getting dressed up.

Theut lived next door to Teresa and Jesus Alvarez’ mother, who would sometimes leave the children in Theut’s care; Theut and the children’s great-aunt, Janet Jenkins, adopted the children in 1996 after their mother died from breast cancer. In the interim, the children’s maternal grandparents had been granted custody, however Alvarez and her brother’s lives continued to be unstable.

While it is certainly a tragedy when an elderly person’s life is taken, it is also tragic that a 25 year old woman will now likely spend the rest of her life in prison. Michigan criminal defense attorneys understand how individuals’ childhoods often shape their lives as an adult.


First-degree murder is the most serious of all criminal offenses, leaving those convicted facing a lifetime behind bars. Anyone who is accused of a homicide crime must take action immediately in order to have the best chance of securing positive results, and protecting your freedom. Contact a highly skilled and aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer right away, so that work can begin on your case.