AUSTIN (KXAN) — The men already behind bars in connection with the death of an Austin music teacher are “actively involved” with the death of an elderly couple in their home on Brentwood Street last December, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said Friday. And the neighbors who knew the couple and liked them, are breathing easier with the news two suspects are behind bars.
Billie, 83, and Sidney Shelton, 85, were found dead Dec. 15 inside their home in the 1700 block of Brentwood Street, across the street from Brentwood Elementary School just days after Kathy Blair was found dead in her home.
Police say Shawn Gant-Benalcazar entered Blair’s home on Tamarack Trail with the intent to burglarize it. Blair was asleep at the time. According to court documents, Gant-Benalcazar told police he stabbed Blair in the neck when she woke up and “lunged” at him. Police also arrested Timothy Parlin in connection to the burglary leading up to Blair’s death.
Friday, Chief Acevedo said Shawn Gant-Benalcazar, who is charged with capital murder in the death of Kathy Blair, and Timothy Parlin who is also jailed in connection with the burglary at Blair’s home, are tied to the burglary and subsequent deaths of the Sheltons.
“We are very confident that the suspects you see before you are absolutely responsible for all three homicides…we already have charges on one and now we are putting together the case for the next two,” Acevedo said.
Police responded to what was initially a burglary call at the Sheltons home but found the bodies of the couple inside when they arrived. Authorities have not released how the victims died, but their deaths were classified as homicides.
“We are saddened by the unexpected, devastating loss of our loved ones,” the Shelton family said in statement to KXAN News in December. “They were kind, open-hearted, loving Christians who enjoyed visiting with family and friends, supporting them in times of need and in joyous occasions.”
Leslie Woods lived next to the Sheltons for 28 years and was carrying a bottle of champagne to share with others about the news.
“Phew, relief,” she said of the break in the case. “That’s why I am carrying this champagne, we are going to celebrate.”
Bradley Linscomb also knew the Sheltons, recalling they were very involved in the neighborhood and liked to have people over. “We pride ourselves on being like Mayberry, USA, and this hit us hard. They were amazing people and we feel it’s just a terrible loss.”
The two suspects are also linked to home burglary in South Austin, according to court records. During an interview with police on Jan. 16, Parlin said he served as a lookout while Gant-Benalcazar broke into a home on Fentonridge Drive, an arrest affidavit said. Police detectives later drove Parlin to South Austin and he reportedly led them to the home that was burglarized.
Police urge anyone with information, especially those who may have purchased or received jewelry from Parlin or Gant-Benalcazar, to call the APD homicide tipline at 512-477-3588 or Capital Area Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS.
Back on Brentwood Street, folks are raising money to put in a memorial bench honoring the Sheltons in the park across the street. They say the couple will always be a part of the neighborhood, and will be missed.