Community helps fund funeral after insurance payout in limbo following Round Rock homicide

Williamson County

ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — A day after frustrated family members of a Round Rock man who was shot and killed expressed concern about not being able to bury him, the community has stepped up to provide funds.

Nearly three weeks have passed since Justin Silas, 40, died June 26 after Round Rock police said he was shot in the neck outside his home on Provident Lane. His mother, Kathy Silas, said she planned to use his life insurance policy to cover the funeral expenses, but the family found out that it’s not entitled to the payout.

“We’re having to now try to get money together to bury Justin, but that’s a hard thing on the family because that’s what he purchased that insurance for was for his burial,” Kathy said Monday. “We’re not asking the insurance company to give us any money. We’re just asking them to pay the funeral home for the burial.”

Silas’ family said Tuesday that after people heard their story, they received enough donations to hold a funeral and burial.

Two days after her son’s death, Kathy told KXAN that she called his life insurance provider, American National, to inquire about the policy so that she could start planning the funeral. However, a representative later told her that the policy listed Tyesha Tanner-Silas, Justin’s wife, as the primary beneficiary. Round Rock police accuse her of firing the shot that ultimately killed him.

Tanner-Silas remains in the Williamson County jail on a $500,000 bond related to a murder charge. She’s presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so, if she is acquitted or otherwise cleared of the murder charge, it stands to reason she would remain the beneficiary of the insurance policy.

The policy also apparently named D’Anderson Silas, Justin’s 19-year-old son, as a secondary beneficiary. The insurance company, though, reportedly told the family that D’Anderson cannot access the money unless Tanner-Silas is convicted first.

“I’m trying to get him to where he needs to be, but people just aren’t working with us to get it to where it is,” D’Anderson said. “It’s kind of crazy because we’ve been trying and trying, and the frustration continues to build.”

The Silas family said they don’t need any more help with money now, and want to thank everyone for their support. Justin Silas’ funeral is scheduled for Saturday. However, Kathy Silas is calling on the insurance company to change.

“We could be healing, but now we can’t even heal because we’re still having to focus on burying Justin and that’s really hard,” she said Monday. “I could sit here and talk and be strong, but through it all I could just break down any minute because it’s really, really tough. Only God knows how tough it is.”

KXAN reached out Monday to American National but never got a response.

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