1 charged in case of Austin man’s death

Published 7:27 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

A teen held in connection to the death of an Austin man earlier in the month, made his first court appearance Friday in Mower County District Court.

Francisco Javier Lagunes Silva, 18, is facing three felony charges in the case of William Hall, 75, who was found dead at his Austin Home on Oct. 13.

Those charges include aid and abet second degree murder while committing a felony without intent, aid and abet aggravated robbery inflict bodily harm and first degree assault.

Francisco Javier Lagunes Silva, 18

Bail was set at $500,000.

Two other juveniles were detained as well in connection to the death, while a fourth is mentioned in court documents.

According to the court complaint, Austin police officers were dispatched to a medical emergency at around 11:04 p.m. in the 800 block of 12th Ave. SE where an elderly man, which turned out to be Hall, was discovered lying on the floor at the residence.

Officers discovered Hall was unresponsive, cold to the touch and without a heartbeat while rigor had set in. The victim was pronounced dead at the home.

Hall was discovered by two people familiar with him as they had been delivering food.

According to the complaint Hall was found on the floor of the green house. Police found blood coming from an injury on the victim’s right elbow, but did not notice any other injuries.

According to a press release from Austin Police Chief David McKichan released Thursday, while officers were on scene a concerned neighbor advised them that his security cameras had captured several young males in the vicinity of Hall’s home the day prior on Oct. 12. The cameras also captured some audio that indicated an encounter took place between Hall and the males.

According to court documents, the owner of the camera reported that he could hear Hall screaming in the video footage. The footage also showed four young males riding their bicycles on the north side of the owner’s garage at around 1:32 p.m.

At around 1:35 p.m. Hall was heard yelling, “Give me my pipe back!” A marijuana pipe had been found in the greenhouse earlier.

One of the males was seen running from the area of the residence, followed a short time later by the remaining three, who were heading to the neighbor’s garage. The juveniles were wearing face masks.

The neighbor also reported finding a brandy bottle on the north side of the garage along with a leather pistol holster on his garage can.

The complaint goes on to say that on Oct. 18, a detective was contacted by the victim’s son and daughter and said that neither the victim’s wallet or pistol — a .22 caliber revolver — had been found while they were cleaning out the residence.

A preliminary autopsy report, released on Oct. 20, indicated that Hall sustained multiple blunt force injuries with rib fractures and hemorrhaging of various organs.

According to the report, six days later, on Oct. 26, detectives interviewed a juvenile male, who after initially denying he was at the residence, admitted that he was at the residence with a 12-year-old male and two male friends.

According to the report, the juvenile told police that the youth told him he knew of a place where they could “do a job” and “smoke some weed.”

He referred to the two others as “J” and “R,” aka “Smokey.” He also said that he saw the victim fall from being pushed and said it happened outside of the garage and house.

The juvenile went on to say that some money that had been taken from a counter was given to him by the 12-year-old and that “J” took cigarettes, indicating that if anybody took the gun — a silver revolver — it would have been the 12-year-old, who also allegedly stole marijuana as well.

The male juvenile said he thought “J” pushed the victim, but was unaware the victim was punched. He told detectives that he was more interested in leaving the house than helping or seeing if the victim was all right.

When the 12-year-old youth  was interviewed by detectives, he said “he did it,” referring to the juvenile. He said he was with the juvenile male and Smokey when they went to Hall’s house on Oct. 12, and said the victim was in the patio area and saw the juvenile steal the pipe to which Hall then yelled, “Give me my pipe!”

According to the 12-year-old, the juvenile pushed Hall, which caused him to fall to the ground and hit his back on the metal bumper of a camper. When Hall tried to get back up again, court records state that the juvenile allegedly punched the victim in the face, according to the 12-year-old.

The 12-year-old said that he became scared after seeing the assault and hearing the victim groan in pain, admitting he didn’t think Hall was okay and that he was in a lot of pain. He then saw Hall push what might have been a medical alert button and then left the area. The youth said they took the pipe and a little bit of weed and that the juvenile got some money from the counter and Smokey took the bottle of brandy.

The youth identified himself in the surveillance video, along with the juvenile male and the two others, one he knew as “Santana” and the other male was “Smokey,” agreeing that his real name was Francisco Silva.

The youth initially denied knowing about the pistol, but then said it looked like a revolver with a long barrel.

Police arrested Silva on Wednesday. The court complaint states he was wearing items that matched his description in a still photo from the scene.

Another person, who admitted to hanging out with the defendant every now and then, told police that the four males were at his girlfriend’s house about three days after the robbery and that the suspects told his girlfriend that they had robbed an old man.

He identified each male in a photo shown to him by police.

This is the fourth homicide in Austin in the past 12 months.

Silva’s next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 8.