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Kingsland murder suspect claims man hit head on rock

FROM STAFF REPORTS

KINGSLAND — A 46-year-old woman charged with the murder of a man Aug. 26 told investigators the man hit his head on a rock, but law enforcement officers found the body wrapped in a blanket and “set on fire.”

According to a probable cause for arrest document, Kathryn Louise Preston told Llano County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Kirk Jowers the alleged victim, 23-year-old Jose Mario Hernandez, had abused her. She also claimed the man, whom she described as her husband, had hit his head on a rock.

Emergency crews and deputies initially responded to a residence in the 200 block of McGee Trail in Kingsland at 9:16 a.m. Aug. 26.

JOSE HERNANDEZ
JOSE HERNANDEZ

According to the affidavit, the two deputies were dispatched to the residence for a fire and possible injuries.

When Jowers and Deputy Steven Sifford arrived, they found Preston sitting in the backyard. She told the deputies about the alleged abuse and said Hernandez was on the bedroom floor.

“Kathryn stated that her husband hit his head on a rock,” the document stated.

The deputies found Hernandez’s body wrapped in a blanket in the bedroom but also discovered someone had allegedly set it on fire.

“There was a large piece of concrete next to his body,” Jowers wrote in the probable cause document. Both deputies “observed” an injury to Hernandez’s head, the affidavit added.

Deputies eventually charged Preston with murder, a first-degree felony, and booked her into the Llano County Jail, where she was being held on a $500,000 bond. A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 99 years in prison.

The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy of the man’s body Aug. 27. The Texas Rangers and Texas Fire Marshall’s Office are assisting the sheriff’s office with the investigation.

editor@thepicayune.com

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