Kyle man charged with murder, accused of killing girlfriend

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KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Police in Kyle arrested a man on murder charges after his girlfriend’s body was found outside their home Saturday evening.

Authorities said three children were inside the home, unharmed. They are now in the care of other family members.

Just before 8 p.m., a caller told 911 dispatchers someone inside a home on Grant Way was injured and needed help. Officers arrived within minutes and found a woman dead in the yard.

Kyle police identified the woman as 39-year-old Erin Wright. Police have not said how Wright died. An autopsy was ordered.

Police on the scene of a murder on Grant Way in Kyle (Photo: Marc Suarez/KXAN)

James Keen, 49, was arrested around 10:50 p.m. Saturday. He is in the Hays County Jail charged with murder.

In a news release, Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said his agency received information about an argument at the home before the shooting. Police said Keen and Wright lived together but were not married. Hays Central Appraisal District listed Keen as the owner of the property on Grant Way.

Police say Wright and Keen each had a child from another relationship in the home and were parents together of the third child.

Tim Searles lives in the neighborhood. He says he came home to Wright’s body lying in the drive way across the street. The three kids, ran door to door looking for help.

“Our roommate was in there sleeping. She said once she got to the door, the little girls were running over there to the house next to where it happened,” said Searles. “Bad time, really bad time. I feel bad for the little girls. Their grandparents were here earlier today cleaning up.”

Reviewing Texas Department of Public Safety criminal history records, KXAN uncovered Keen had been arrested twice in cases involving assault. The first arrest occurred in Arlington, Texas, in 1994. Keen pleaded guilty to two charges: assault causing bodily injury and obstruction. Keen pleaded guilty to those charges.

Then, in 2006, United States Marshals in Dallas arrested Keen on a charge of assault causing bodily injury with a family violence enhancement. That was a third degree felony. In 2009, those charges were dismissed by a Dallas County court.

Investigators in Kyle said there did not appear to be any previous calls to the home on Grant Way before, and Wright did not have a protective order against Keen.

If Keen is convicted in Saturday’s murder, he could face five to 99 years in prison.

This is the first murder in the City of Kyle since June 2015.

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