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Couple Murders 2 Women Who Gave Them Shelter, Claiming, 'We Didn’t Have Any Other Choice'
"I just couldn’t take it no more," Michael Schallert said while detailing in his confession why he shot and killed an old friend who helped him out.
Kandis R. Majors and Terri Ann Seibeck found in each other a loving and supportive partner. Life hadn’t been easy for the two single mothers from West Frankfort, Illinois.
“Kandis had a beautiful smile that lit up the room when she walked in. She had so many positive things going for her.” Majors’ mother, Cindy Marlow, told “Snapped: Killer Couples,” airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen.
Majors went through tough times, though. Hoping to turn her life around, Majors befriended Seibeck, who had faced many of the same challenges. She too had had gone through similar issues and had no family to fall back on.
“I think they needed each other just because they had issues with past drug addictions, trauma, they both wanted to get on a better path and do good for their kids,” friend Jessi Hurley told “Killer Couples.”
Majors and Seibeck supported each other’s sobriety and moved in together in 2007. Seibeck worked for her father’s painting business while Majors was training to become a radiologist. Things were turning around for them both.
“Kandis and Terri had talked to me on many occasions about how much in love they were and they did have future plans to get married,” said Hurley.
On October 19, 2009, Seibeck’s aunt called 911. Seibeck had missed work and no one could get in touch with her or Majora.
Seibeck’s aunt owned the house where the couple lived and went to the property. She saw the front door was covered in blood and waited for officers from the West Frankfort Police Department to arrive.
“As I pushed the door open approximately five, six inches, toes came beneath the door and you could see the blood on them,” former West Frankfort Police Chief Jeff Tharp told "Killer Couples."
Inside the home were the dead bodies of Majors, 28, and Seibeck, 32. An autopsy determined they were shot in the head multiple times at close range by a small-caliber handgun, according to Cape Girardeau Missouri, CBS-affiliate KFVS.
Both victims’ credit cards and IDs were missing as was Seibeck’s Chevrolet Impala. However, there were no signs of a break-in and other valuables were left behind.
In speaking with the women’s friends, detectives learned another couple had been living with them. They were identified as Afton Ferris, 19, and Michael Schallert, 29.
Detectives learned that Majors and Seibeck had accused Ferris and Schallert of stealing from them and kicked them out on October 18. They then stayed with a friend, who told police the couple left in the middle of the night and stole his .22 Ruger handgun, according to local newspaper the Benton Evening News.
A day after the murder, Afton D. Ferris and Michael Anthony Schallert were named as “persons of interest” in the murder of Kandis Majors and Terri Seibeck, reported KFVS.
In speaking with Schallert’s family, they learned his friendship with Seibeck went back years. They found it hard to believe he was behind such brutal acts of violence.
Born in 1979, Schallert grew up in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He became a father at 15, which forever altered the course of his life.
As an adult, Schallert drifted around the Midwest, working odd jobs and moving from place to place. He met Seibeck in West Frankfort and she allowed him to stay with her for a period. Schallert returned to Cheyenne in 2008, where he met Ferris, then 18. She had grown up in foster care, and despite being valedictorian of her high school, was unable to hold down a job. She was homeless when they met.
“He did become kind of obsessed with Afton. It wasn’t necessarily an obsession, like, a crazy obsession, it was, ‘I will do anything I have to for this person for them to love me,'” sister Shauna Schallert told “Killer Couples."
Michael Schallert asked Shauna if Ferris could move in with her. Having just given birth to a young child, Shauna refused, so the couple made their way back to West Frankfort.
Seibeck allowed Ferris and Schallert to stay in the home she shared with Majors. However, the situation soon went south.
“About a month after they moved in, I spoke with Terri on the phone and she just seemed really frustrated saying some of their things had come up missing,” Hurley said. “She told me that no one else had been in the house."
Believing Ferris and Schallert were stealing from them, Seibeck and Majors kicked the couple out. Less than 24 hours later, they were dead.
Investigators soon obtained security camera footage from a local gas station that showed Schallert filling up Seibeck’s car and paying for it with Majors’ credit card, according to the Benton Evening News. Activity on Majors’ credit card helped investigators track the couple to Larimer County, Colorado. They learned Schallert had a friend who lived in a trailer park in Fort Collins and spotted Seibeck’s car parked outside.
Afton Ferris and Michael Schallert were taken into custody on October 21, 2009. Insider the the trailer, authorities found blood-stained clothing belonging to Ferris, stolen credit cards, and a black purse containing the murder weapon, according to KFVS.
A handwritten poem titled "Bullets and Weed" was found inside Majors’ car, which was signed by Ferris, according to WFVS. "Seems like we got no where to run to, and no way to go back,” it reads “Guess the only way to go, is to take this handful of bullets and pocketful of weed.”
Another note found inside the car read, "We are sorry we did this, I wish we hadn't done this, but we had been pushed too far. Terri & Kandice were thieves and liars & they continuously stole from one another & blamed it on somebody else, and we continuously got the blame," according to WFVS.
In her interview with police, Ferris admitted to stealing the murder weapon. She said they originally intended to rob Seibeck and Majors but when they got to their house decided to kill them.
“We didn’t have any other choice,” Ferris says in footage of her interview with police, which was obtained by “Killer Couples.” “It was the only option we had.”
Ferris said that in order to gain entrance into the home, Schallert said they wanted to apologize. Instead, he gunned the women down in cold blood.
“He’s like, ‘You know what, motherf--ker?’ and he shot [Majors] and she went backwards, and then he shot Terri. She hit the coffee table,” said Ferris.
She said she saw Majors was attempting to escape and call the sheriff's department, so she grabbed her and brought her back in, while Schallert shot her again.
“Terri, she was moaning and groaning and I told him, ‘Give me the gun,’ and I shot her in her left eye,” Ferris then told detectives.
In his interview with police, Schallert admitted to murdering Seibeck and Majors with Ferris’ help. He said he and Ferris were planning to die by suicide, according to WFVS.
“We just walked in and she started blaming Afton for stealing some CDs and me for a tank top shirt and I just couldn’t take it no more and I had that gun. I just pulled the trigger, I don’t even know how many times,” Schallert says in his videotaped police interview, which was obtained by “Snapped.” “Then it got jammed and Afton told me to reload it. I reloaded it and she shot a couple times."
Following their confessions, Afton Ferris and Michael Schallert were charged with two counts each of murder in the first degree, according to The Denver Post newspaper.
In August 2011, Michael Schallert pleaded guilty to two counts of murder in the first degree and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, reported Southern Illinois’ Harrisburg Register newspaper.
A jury found Afton Ferris guilty on two counts each of murder, home invasion, and armed robbery in July 2011. She was subsequently sentenced to natural life without the possibility of parole, according to the Benton Evening News.