Kyle man sentenced to life in prison for 2016 murder of his girlfriend

James Keen was charged with murder on March 26 (Photo_ Hays County Sheriff's Office)_263147

KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — The Hays County District Attorney announced Wednesday that 52-year-old James Craig Keen was convicted for murdering his girlfriend in 2016.

On March 26, 2016, police in Kyle were sent to the home of Erin Wright, 32, Keen’s estranged girlfriend.

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

Wright’s six-year-old daughter told police she saw Keen arguing with her mother. She said she then saw Keen grab a firearm from above a cabinet and shoot Wright.

Officers stated in the arrest affidavit that Wright was found outside the house. Police said there was a trail of blood leading from the walkway to the front door.

The district attorney says Wright had previously moved away from Keen due to a history of domestic abuse. In 2016, Keen moved to Texas to be closer to his daughter he had with Wright. According to the DA, Keen killed Wright three weeks after she and her daughters moved in with him.

Keen’s trial began Sept. 23, 2019, and lasted seven days. During the trial, Keen’s first wife testified about being abused by him in the past. Keen had been arrested twice in cases involving assault.

The first was in Arlington, Texas, in 1994, where Keen pleaded guilty to two charges: assault causing bodily injury and obstruction. In the second case, in 2006, U.S. Marshals in Dallas arrested Keen on a charge of assault causing bodily injury with a family violence enhancement. That was a third-degree felony. Those charges were dismissed by a Dallas County court.

The jury handed down their guilty verdict Tuesday, Oct. 1, and delivered the punishment the next day. Keen was sentenced to life in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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