Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the nature of the interaction between the suspect and victim, and to include additional reporting.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man faces a capital murder charge after Austin police accused him of shooting someone during a botched drug deal Feb. 23 in south Austin, an arrest affidavit said.
Sevon Herman Randle, 19, was arrested Monday by U.S. Marshals off Springdale Road in connection with the shooting death of Jacob Andrew Turner outside a gas station on Ben White Boulevard. According to the affidavit, a witness said Randle confessed to shooting Turner.
Records show he remains in custody at Travis County Jail. His bond is set at $1 million, according to the Austin Police Department.
In a statement to KXAN, Leslie Booker, the attorney representing Randle, said her client “is not guilty of capital murder.”
“The lead detective in this case acted hastily in filing these charges against Mr. Randle,” Booker said. “Hopefully the District Attorney’s Office will agree.”
The affidavit said Randle was going to buy “at least 50 Percocet M30 pills” from Turner, but the two couldn’t agree on a price. The Austin Police Department suspects the pills were laced with fentanyl, according to the affidavit.
While in a Mercedez-Benz sedan to do the drug deal, Randle made an offer that was too low for Turner, according to the witness APD interviewed. Turner snapped one of the pills in half, then Randle snorted in an effort to check for quality, the affidavit said. Turner said he needed more money from Randle for the pills, the affidavit said, and then Randle pulled a gun on Turner and shot him.
The witness APD interviewed said Randle killed Turner “for no reason whatsoever,” according to the affidavit. Turner’s body was found face-down with the pills next to him, some scattered near him and some in a small baggie, the affidavit said.
After the shooting, the witness told APD Randle bragged about killing Turner, saying it “raised his body count,” the affidavit said. APD found Randle had previous arrests in 2021, including a weapons charge and resisting arrest, the affidavit said.
After Randle left the crime scene, the affidavit said he dumped the handgun used in the shooting outside a hotel on Congress Avenue, then retrieved it a short time later. The car was abandoned there, and someone came to pick him up, and according to the affidavit, drove Randle back to an area near the crime scene where he “watched the body of Jacob Turner being placed in body bag and carted from the scene.”
According to the affidavit, Turner had a “history of opiate abuse.”
KXAN spoke with Turner’s father on Wednesday who identified himself as a local defense attorney. He didn’t wish to speak to the specifics of his son’s death but said he appreciated the swift work by law enforcement.
Phil Owen with the local nonprofit Communities for Recovery told KXAN though he couldn’t speak to the specifics of the murder case, in his experience, it’s not unusual for those who deal drugs to also grapple with addiction.
“It’s very common to see somebody resorting to selling drugs in order to support their habit,” Owen said. “It’s hard to hold down a job that has a list of responsibilities when you’re when you’re struggling with dependence on a substance of choice.”
You can learn more about substance use disorder using these resources: