Hoping for justice for Austin murder victim Beau Zabel

Published 8:38 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A convicted killer now linked in the murder of Austin native Beau Zabel won’t bring closure for everyone, but it will make a right where a victim was senselessly wronged.


“The hope is that the killer will be brought to justice for this crime,” said Keven Maxa, a local leader of Boy Scouts and The Order of the Arrow, who knew just how promising Beau’s future looked.

Beau, 23, was shot and killed in 2008 for his iPod in Philadelphia, just steps from his apartment. Last month, Marcellus Jones, 34, was convicted for murdering another Philadelphia man who was said to be involved in Zabel’s death. Jones — who was already serving 50 to 100 years for shooting a woman while she held her baby — was sentenced to life in prison for killing Tyreek Taylor so Taylor couldn’t speak about their roles in Zabel’s murder. Now Jones is on trial for Zabel’s murder.

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“It does; it helps,” Maxa said about Jones being tried for Zabel’s death. “It will bring a little more sense of right in the world.”

Last month, Terry Zabel and Lana Zamora, Beau’s stepfather and mother, flew to Philadelphia to watch Jones’ sentencing.

“Even after four years, it was comforting to know that Beau had not been forgotten,” Beau’s mother, Lana Zamora, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“We’re glad [Jones] is not going to be on the street to hurt anybody else,” Terry told the Herald last week. “We are convinced that this is the person that killed Beau, even though they may never have enough evidence to convict him.”

Before he died, Beau was accepted to Drexel University in Philadelphia, and planned to teach math and earn his graduate degree. He was living life the way locals and those close to him remember: as a leader.

“I think he just had the aptitude to be a leader and teacher,” Terry said. “He liked that sort of thing.”

Maxa agreed.

“Whatever Beau was involved in, most things, he was a leader,” said Maxa, who recalled a few events from Beau’s years in Boy Scouts. Maxa was on the review board when Beau became an Eagle Scout. He remembers Beau living by the Scout Law, being a vigil in Order of the Arrow — the highest rank — and always helping others. While people have their memories of Beau, part of Beau’s legacy will continue.

Maxa and Order of the Arrow members started The Beau Zabel Memorial Award for outstanding service, for which recipients get a signed certificate from the local chapter of Order of the Arrow.

In Philadelphia, a playwright included Beau’s story in his production “Killadelphia: Mixtape of a City,” and two women even started a memorial run in Beau’s honor.

“Beau would have been one of those people that would have spent the rest of his life giving back to the community wherever he went,” Maxa said. “And to see that life snuffed out over an iPod is just sad. To have this killer finally identified and charged does give a sense of closure. It still hurts.”

—McClatchy Information Services contributed to this report.