Police: Man charged in September shooting death linked another murder


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 23-year-old man was charged in connection with the September shooting death of a man during what officials believe was a drug deal. 

Austin police said Isaac Jerome Thomas Jr., also known as “Lil A,” “Junior” or “JR,” was already in custody in Bastrop County Jail for another crime when he was charged in connection with the death of 26-year-old Joshua Hardesty, found dead on Sept. 11 on East Parmer Lane. 

Hardesty was shot several times and was found on the ground at an apartment complex. Police said Hardesty was trying to sell several pounds of marijuana to Thomas. 

Officials found a handgun, a phone and a bag with large amounts of marijuana near Hardesty’s body in September, according to documents filed in court. His dog waited by his body until animal control officials arrived at the scene, officials wrote.

Sgt. Eric De Los Santos with the Austin Police Department said they learned about Thomas’ involvement in Hardesty’s murder when they were looking into a different murder that took place in November.

On November 6, APD responded to Norwood Park Blvd. and found Tony Huggins who had been shot. 

According to an affidavit, in that case, Huggins was trying to buy marijuana from Thomas. 

The court document said Huggins had about $60,000 with him. When he got into Thomas’ car, Thomas shot him. 

Thomas’ bond was set at $333,000. 

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