Woman arrested in deadly southeast Austin hit-and-run


Editor’s Note: On Dec. 10, 2019 KXAN obtained information from the Travis County DA that the case against Powell was dismissed pending further investigation. “We reached the conclusion that we couldn’t overcome their self-defense theory,” said Guillermo Gonzalez, who heads the DA’s trial division.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police arrested Cierra Powell, 24, and charged her with murder in connection with a hit-and-run crash and shooting that killed Jason Aranda, 30, two days ago in southeast Austin, according to a police arrest affidavit filed Saturday.

On Thursday, Austin-Travis County EMS medics were called to the intersection of East Oltorf Street and Huntwick Drive at 3:09 p.m. Aranda was pronounced dead about 10 minutes later at the scene.

In the affidavit, police said they received reports that a woman hit a pedestrian on purpose and then fled the scene in a maroon Lexus. They said another 911 caller told them that Aranda knew the driver.

Police paperwork said Aranda got out of his car to confront Powell when she sped up, hitting him.

Powell told police that Aranda attempted to attack her in her car, so she shot him in self-defense. A pistol with a fired cartridge casing was found in Powell’s car, the affidavit said.

It also said Aranda’s death was ruled a homicide by gunshot wound after an autopsy was performed by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Aranda’s 13-year-old son witnessed his father being killed, the documents said.

They also said that before the incident, Powell said she got a call from Aranda’s ex-girlfriend who said Aranda was assaulting her.

Powell is being held in the Travis County Jail, and her bond is set at $150,000.

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