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