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Man Charged For Southeast Austin Homeless Man's Murder
Police have charged a man for the murder of a homeless man found behind a gas station in Southeast Austin earlier this week.
Mark Anthony Ramirez, 27, is charged with the first degree murder of Bryan Kenneth Labay, 42.
Labay, a known transient in the area, was found Tuesday morning in a field behind a Valero gas station on Ben White Boulevard, just west of Montopolis Drive.
According to the arrest affidavit, four days before Labay was found dead a clerk at the Valero saw Ramirez trying to get into vehicles in the parking lot. He left when the clerk and customers in the store confronted him, but they did see blood on his pants.
While the clerk was calling 911 a customer told the clerk that someone was dead in the field next to the gas station. It was Labay lying motionless – but he then began rolling around. According to the affidavit the clerk did not realize he was injured.
Meanwhile, as the clerk called 911, Ramirez was arrested down the street for getting into a man's car without permission. The arresting officer found a single-edged knife in his pocket covered in blood, according to court documents.
While in the patrol unit he smashed the rear digital recorder, exposing the wires. He then tried to strangle himself with them, but was restrained by the officer, according to the affidavit.
When Labay's body was found detectives interviewed Ramirez but he refused to answer any questions. They inspected his body and found no cuts that would have covered his knife or pants in blood.
An autopsy performed on Labay showed that he died as a result of sharp force injury and the fatal injuries were consistent with a single-edged knife.
Ramierez remains in custody at the Travis County Jail on a $350,000 bond.
The investigation into this case continues. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crimestoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" your message to CRIMES. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip leads to an arrest or charges being filed.
This is Austin's third murder of 2013.