Suburban belonging to slain Austin attorney found in Louisiana

The Suburban belonging to Austin defense attorney James Short seen at a south Austin Walmart (Travis County Sheriff's Office Photo)
The Suburban belonging to Austin defense attorney James Short seen at a south Austin Walmart (Travis County Sheriff's Office Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The missing Chevrolet Suburban belonging to Austin attorney James Short — found murdered in his home on April 7 — was found early Friday morning in Louisiana.

Law enforcement found the Suburban in a parking lot in Rapides Parish, about 30 miles northwest of Lafayette. Detectives are now looking through the vehicle for evidence.

Justin Twyne, the man charged with Short’s murder, was arrested at a New Orleans hotel the same day the body was found on an outstanding and unrelated escape warrant. According to an arrest warrant, a bag found at the victim’s home had items that had Twyne’s personal information on it. A search of Twyne’s hotel room revealed Short’s credit cards and within days he was charged for Short’s murder on Rockwood Drive in southwest Travis County.

Justin Twyne
Justin Twyne (Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office)

The sheriff’s office says Twyne, 24, will be brought back to Travis County next week at the earliest.

Surveillance video from an Austin Walmart taken on April 6 showed a man matching Twyne’s description walking with Short, with flowers and plants in the shopping cart. Short, 74, and Twyne left the store together in the attorney’s Suburban.

The day after Short’s body was found, authorities released photographs of a person of interest along with photos of the SUV.

At around 2 p.m. on April 7, Short’s cell phone was found by the road near the intersection of Ben White Boulevard and Manchaca Road. Several text messages exchanged between Short and Twyne were found on the phone, where the two messaged about meeting at Short’s house.

Police say Short sent Twyne his address and directions to find his house, located down a dirt road.

When asked how the two men knew each other, a sheriff’s spokesperson said they had met before and they were friends.

Twyne’s criminal history includes arrests for giving a false name, address or birthday to law enforcement, willful obstruction of law enforcement officers, driving without a valid license, willfully resist, obstruct or oppose law enforcement, obstruction of an officer, probation violations, financial card fraud, family violence — battery, criminal trespass, simple battery and escape.

James Short (Provided photo from Sam Drew)
James Short (Provided photo from Sam Drew)

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