Woman charged with murder after man’s body turns up at recycling center

Leigh Bohart

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 52-year-old woman has been charged with killing Clarence Gerald Gardner Jr., 49, whose body was found Tuesday on a conveyor belt inside a Southeast Travis County recycling center. A blood-stained limestone rock was found next to his body, according to court documents. Authorities charged Leigh Bohart the next day in his murder.

Garder and Bohart were both homeless and camped near one another behind a church at 517 Bouldin Ave. in South Austin, the affidavit said. They were the only ones living there, according to police. When police questioned Gardner’s best friend, he mentioned Gardner got along with everybody, except for Bohart. The friend said Bohart was “psycho and just goes off on people, yelling and screaming at them,” the document said.

The two had gotten into an argument Monday, which resulted in Gardner calling police to report the disturbance. Bohart told police Wednesday she was trying to provoke Gardner to hit her so she could hit him back, according to the affidavit. She admitted becoming extremely angry when he opted to call police instead. Later that night, a witness reported seeing Bohart moving a recycle bin on the side of the church.

Clarence Gerald Gardner Jr.
Clarence Gerald Gardner Jr.

When detectives returned to the church Wednesday, the found blood on the inside and outside of the recycle bin. They also found blood under a piece of cardboard in the spot where Gardner would sleep, and on bushes and branches nearby. A pile of limestone rocks found near the church were similar to the ones they found on the conveyor belt, police added.

When asked if her DNA would be found on the weapon, Bohart said, “Well sure! If they planted it…it would be,” the document said. She reportedly told police “crackheads” were the ones who would have planted the evidence.

She is being held in the Travis County Jail on $100,000 bond for the murder charge. She is also charged with tampering with evidence. Bond was set at $50,000 for that charge.

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