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State's Attorney: System failed in Severn murder

Posted: 6:58 AM, Dec 25, 2015
Updated: 2015-12-25 14:03:07-05

The Anne Arundel County state's attorney says the system failed the victim of a murder-suicide this month in Severn.

Anne Arundel County police say two weeks ago, Jeffrey Deberry shot and killed Diana Knight , set her and the house on fire and then killed himself.

According to court records, Deberry has a long history of violent crimes, including domestic violence with Knight.

Three months ago, Deberry was in court for weapons charges.

At that time the state’s attorney’s office asked for a sentence of five years without parole. Instead, the judge gave Deberry no jail time.

Diana Knight filed for a protective order just days before that fire.

The sheriff's office served Jeffrey Deberry with that order just hours before she was killed. 

RELATED: Murder-suicides often leave behind more questions than answers