• August 27, 2014

Man not indicted in 2012 homicide

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Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 4:30 am

BELTON — A Bell County grand jury Wednesday opted not to indict a Harker Heights man in connection with the death of man found at a local park.

The grand jury did not return an indictment Wednesday afternoon against Henry Lawrence Moore, 42, of Harker Heights, on a charge of criminally negligent homicide.

According to an arrest affidavit, Moore was a suspect in the death of Avelino Tapia-Garcia.

On Dec. 1, 2012, Bell County sheriff’s deputies were called to a report of a man needing medical assistance at Dana Peak Park, a popular hiking and camping destination. Tapia-Garcia was unresponsive, and was transported to Scott & White Hospital in Temple, where he died Dec. 4, 2012.

An autopsy revealed the cause of death was subdural hemotoma, and noted that Tapia-Garcia had a laceration to his right forehead area.

An investigation into Tapia-Garcia’s death revealed that he had been drinking at the Fireside Bar in Harker Heights on Nov. 30, 2012, the affidavit stated.

According to witnessses, Tapia-Garcia was drunk and asked to leave the bar. Officials at the Bell County District Attorney’s Office said Tapia-Garcia had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29, more than three times the legal limit.

A witness told police he and Moore placed Tapia-Garcia in the back of a pickup truck and drove him to Dana Peak.

The witness said that when they got there, Moore yelled at Tapia-Garcia to get out of the truck bed, and struck him on the head, knocking him to the ground.

Moore and the witness left Dana Peak and retuned to the bar, the affidavit stated.

At the bar, a witness reported that Moore said he may have killed someone, and admitted to hitting Tapia-Garcia.

Moore later gave police a written statement, in which he admitted to driving Tapia-Garcia to Dana Peak.

Moore said an altercation occurred, and he punched Tapia-Garcia one time. Speaking Wednesday, First Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said the grand jury could review the case again if new evidence surfaces.

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