Timothy Parlin found guilty of killing 3 Austinites in 2014

Crime

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Ten days after his trial began, a Travis County jury found Timothy Parlin guilty of killing an elderly couple and a choir teacher.

The jury came back with the guilty verdict in less than 3 hours Friday.

Parlin was found guilty of capital murder in the deaths of Kathy Blair — killed in her northwest Austin home Dec. 6, 2014 — as well as the deaths of Sidney and Billie Shelton, who were killed in their north Austin home Dec. 15, 2014.

In all, Parlin faced five counts of capital murder connected to their deaths.

During closing arguments Friday, the prosecution called Parlin the “mastermind” behind the killings.

“Our office is very thankful for the jury’s swift and decisive verdict,” the Travis County District Attorney’s Office told KXAN News in a statement. They went on to say “It has been a long road for the victim’s families and we hope this brings them closer to closure.”

After the verdict, Kathy Blair’s family talked to us about getting some closure. 

“It’s a good day,” said Kirsten Mathieson, Blair’s sister. “This is a good day. We’re very thankful that the jury made the right decision.”

Mathieson said Blair was a beloved choir teacher, and they want to remember her that way. “We can go on just telling the real story of Kathy Blair,” Mathieson said. “Just music, music, music!”

While the prosecution argued Parlin conspired with Shawn Gant-Benalcazar to break into the victims’ homes and kill them, Parlin’s defense lawyers said he’s not the killer.

“Everybody as a result of this trial knows who the real killer is,” said Keith Lauerman. “And it’s not Timothy Parlin.”

Lauerman said Parlin plans on appealing the verdict.

Russell Hunt, Jr., another defense attorney, told KXAN, while they appreciate the jury’s work, “Mr. Parlin is very disappointed. He has maintained from the very beginning his innocence. He’s said over and over again his hands did not murder anyone. His hands did not injure anyone.”

Blair’s sister said the family believes Parlin is responsible. “My sister was targeted,” she said. “That was pretty obvious, and if it weren’t for him she would still be alive.”

Parlin’s guilty verdict came just weeks after Gant-Benalcazar’s trial in Blair’s case ended in a mistrial. One juror did not want to convict him.

“We thought that things were going to go the right way,” Mathieson said. “And they didn’t because of one person, so that was disappointing, yeah.”

Gant-Benalcazar is expected to return for a retrial at a later date.

Parlin’s formal sentencing is scheduled for next Wednesday. The capital murder charge comes with an automatic life sentence.

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