Transient woman beaten to death over cell phone

Austin has had its first murder of 2017. Police say a fight over a cell phone escalated to a physical assault, leaving a transient woman dead. One of the suspects has been caught.

The suspect's charge was changed from aggravated assault to murder. The investigation shows he actually knew the victim.

A deadly scene right next to Austin's Pre-owned Quality Used Cars.

"I mean the homeless live over there. They sleep there in that corner below that patio," says Michael Farahmandi, owner of Austin Pre-owned Quality Used Cars.

The owner says the homeless have even started to go onto his property, telling us it has gotten worse in the last six months.

"I take pride in what I do here. Lately, we've had lots of problems with the homeless coming around and giving us a hard time. At night they sleep here. Sometimes they use the bathroom around this area, behind the cars and all that," says Farahmandi.

44-year-old Alexander Holland has been charged with first degree murder. He is known as a transient in the area.

Last Wednesday police responded to a disturbance at the 1700 block of East Riverside.
A male and female had been sleeping behind an old Jack In The Box when they were approached by Holland.
Another suspect was waiting in an SUV.

Police say an argument over a cell phone began and escalated into physical assaults. Holland was reportedly seen stomping on the woman's head as she lay on the ground. A car passing buy honked their horn to break up the fight.

That's when police say the two suspects jumped into the SUV, striking the woman before leaving.

She has been identified as 39-year-old Luz Munoz. She was transferred to the hospital with massive head trauma and died two days later.

"Please police department, please come and clean up this place. We cannot harass them and we don't want to harass them. We don't want to give them a hard time but at the same time, this is a business," says Farahmandi.

Farahmandi says he has put up sensor lights to help deter the homeless from sleeping on his property.
Due to this recent incident, he also plans to increase security.
One additional arrest is expected.

Detectives are asking anyone with any information regarding this incident to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text "Tip 103" + your message to CRIMES.


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