WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — An affidavit reveals the man accused of killing an elderly woman outside Florence earlier this month bought a pistol less than a week before shooting.
Joshua Gilbreath, 26, was arrested Saturday and charged with murder in the death of Diana Lynn Pier, 70. She was a grandmother, and deputies believed she may have stopped to help someone on the road before the shooting.
Gilbreath bonded out of jail Dec. 13.
KXAN has reached out to Gilbreath’s attorney. We will update this story once a response is received.
The shooting took place the night of Aug. 4 in the 4500 block of CR 245, west of Highway 195 and south of Florence.
The arrest affidavit for Gilbreath stated a witness said she saw a silver sedan, which deputies identified as the suspect’s car, parked in the southbound lane of CR 245 with its flashers on. Then, another vehicle, identified as Pier’s, passed the suspect’s car and pulled into a driveway area.
According to the affidavit, the witness saw someone running from the rear of Pier’s car to the suspect’s car, which was still parked in the roadway. The suspect’s car drove off “at a high rate of speed” afterward.
After the suspect’s car left the area, the witness told deputies she walked to the end of the driveway and saw a woman, later identified as Pier, lying in the roadway in a pool of blood. Deputies wrote in the affidavit a shell casing was found in the road near Pier’s head.
The affidavit stated a tip on Aug. 11 said Gilbreath divulged details about the shooting to someone while at a Pflugerville bar.
“Joshua stated he pulled his vehicle over on a side road and a vehicle pulled over behind his vehicle. The woman got out of her vehicle, and he shot her when she approached him,” the affidavit stated of the conversation.
Deputies also said in the affidavit they obtained a receipt showing Gilbreath bought a used pistol in Pflugerville on July 29. They also got photos of the cartridges Gilbreath purchased the same day, and they matched the cartridge found at the CR 245 scene.
Deputies said based off the matching shell casings and cell phone records that put Gilbreath at the scene of murder, among other factors, they believed Gilbreath was the suspect, according to the affidavit.