Woman guilty in camp killing

Man found dead at tran­sient camp in 2011 feared her; cache of weapons found at site.

Austin American-Statesman - - B METRO & STATE - By Pa­trick Beach pbeach@states­man.com Killing B

Af­ter a three-day bench trial, se­nior state District Judge Jon Wisser found Lou Ann Tomp­kins guilty of mur­der in the 2011 shoot­ing death of Darin Bell in a South­east Austin tran­sient camp where both of them lived.

Travis County pros­e­cu­tors pre­sented ev­i­dence that Tomp­kins had shot at Bell be­fore, that he feared her and had told friends that if he turned up dead it would be at her hands. On Jan. 22, 2011, a con­cerned friend check­ing on Bell found him with a sin­gle gun­shot wound to the fore­head in his Win­nebago mo­tor home in what was de­scribed as a wooded and in­dus­trial area near Burleson Road.

At Tomp­kins’ camp­site, which had sev­eral tents and struc­tures, po­lice dis­cov­ered a cache of weapons, thou­sands of rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, and books and videos about guns. As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Al­li­son Wet­zel said Tomp­kins ini­tially lied to po­lice when asked if she had any weapons, telling them she only had one long ri­fle.

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