AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 25-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of stabbing another man who was found dead in a ditch in southeast Austin earlier this month.
On the night of Sept. 4, Austin police responded to a stabbing call in 3600 block of Chapman Lane and found a man, later identified as 25-year-old Desmond Herrera, with trauma to his body. He was pronounced dead on scene.
U.S. Marshals said on Wednesday, the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force arrested Stephen Alvarado without incident on Quick Fox Road in Hutto for the homicide.
Austin police asked the task force for help in finding Alvarado, U.S. Marshals said. The task force conducted its own investigation and found he had fled to Williamson County.
After surveillance, the task force was able to arrest Alvarado, U.S. Marshals said. He has a bond set for $1 million.
Affidavit details disputes between suspect and victim
An arrest affidavit issued for Alvarado Tuesday said he and Herrera knew each other and reportedly had an ongoing dispute, according to witness statements and Alvarado himself.
The affidavit said Herrera reportedly assaulted Alvarado months before, which resulted in several cuts to Alvarado’s face. He reported it to Austin police, and witness statements in the affidavit said Alvarado was looking for revenge for the incident. The affidavit also said Herrera thought Alvarado had recently stolen $2,000 from him.
From video evidence, witness statements and physical evidence, the affidavit said investigators believe Herrera was in a fight with Alvarado in his truck outside the game room that night when Alvarado allegedly stabbed Herrera several times.
From there, the affidavit said Alvarado allegedly pulled Herrera’s body out of the truck and put it in the nearby ditch before driving away.
The affidavit said phone records show Herrera had been in contact with Alvarado that night, and video surveillance recorded Herrera getting into Alvarado’s Dodge pickup truck outside the game room.
On Sept. 12, crime scene specialists found reddish-brown stains in Alvarado’s truck that tested presumptive positive for blood, the affidavit said. The day before, Alvarado’s brother said Alvarado asked him to clean his truck after Alvarado said a friend had “cut himself while playing football.”
Alvarado also agreed to an interview with police, where he said he was trying to stay away from Herrera, according to the affidavit. But investigators found him to be dishonest and deceptive, saying his brother was in possession of his truck the night Herrera was killed.
The affidavit said on Sept. 15, witnesses reported Alvarado admitted to the murder at a social gathering.