AUSTIN (KXAN) - A Crime Stoppers tip over the weekend has led authorities to file a first-degree murder charge against a Bell County man in the March 31 shooting death of Bennie Desean Heslip in a parking lot on 11th Street in Austin.
Heslip, 23, was shot in the chest after a night downtown with friends. By the time police police arrived, witnesses said the shooter and his friends had sped away in a dark-colored car.
Witnesses were able to help police develop a composite sketch of the shooter. But there was no suspect in the death until an informant contacted Austin Crime Stoppers and the Austin police tip line on Saturday. The tipster recognized the sketch and identified the man as being a probationer who lived in Killeen.
No name was provided but the caller linked him as being friends with two women from Belton whose names were provided.
Austin police contacted their counterparts in Belton who linked one of the women with Derrick Leroy Kuykendall, 21.
One of the women said that she was with Kuykendall in Austin on the night of the killing and described the events leading up to the shooting. Several parts of her account tracked witness statements from where the shooting took place.
The woman's father called Kuykendall and advised him to surrender to police, according to the arrest warrant affidavit released Tuesday. The document states that Kuykendall told the man that he didn't want to go to jail, and begged the man not to call police, saying that, "I messed up. I made a mistake."
The affidavit said Kuykendall's whereabouts were unknown, but that police were attempting to track him down.
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