Murdered Kids Released From Protective Custody in 2013
Their mother had sought protection from both her husband and her ex-boyfriend
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2015 6:22 PM CDT
Flowers and eight balloons are seen at a house where eight people were killed Saturday in Houston. Today it was revealed the six children who were killed were briefly in state custody in 2013.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Newser) – The six children murdered in their Houston home last week were in state custody for three weeks back in 2013 after numerous reports of abuse and negligence on the part of their parents, David Ray Conley, Valerie Jackson, and her husband, Dwayne Jackson, the Houston Chronicle reports. The Department of Family Protective Services revealed the children were released on a judge's orders despite the department considering them to be in "immediate danger." Last weekend, police arrested Conley, Valerie Jackson's ex-boyfriend, on suspicion of killing the couple and the six children ages 6 to 13 in their home, including his own son. Now, lawmakers and the Office of Child Safety are looking at how and why the children's case was was closed in 2014.

KPRC reports Valerie Jackson had filed protective orders against both Conley and her husband. The state started investigating the family in 2011 because of allegations Conley was abusing Valerie Jackson, according to the Chronicle. In 2012, Dwayne Jackson was accused of threatening to kill his wife and their children, Valerie Jackson was accused of neglectful supervision, and one of the children claimed they were left alone and "whooped" often. The following year, Valerie Jackson reported Conley chasing her with a knife, and her 7-year-old boy was found wandering alone in the streets. KPRC reports there were also allegations of Conley slamming Valerie's head in a fridge and Dwayne Jackson holding her hostage in a hotel room for a week. When the judge ordered the state to cease its intervention, she cited the cooperation of the children's parents.