THE SUSPECT: Leigh Bohart
FROM STAFF REPORTS
CREEDMOOR — A woman was charged with murder in connection with the death of a man whose body was discovered Tuesday at the Texas Disposal Systems recycling center, according to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.
The man, Clarence Gerald Gardner Jr., 49, was homeless. Police say his alleged killer, Leigh Bohart, 52, is also homeless. Jail records show she is in the Travis County Jail with bail set at $150,000. Bohart also faces a charge of tampering with physical evidence in Gardner’s death.
TDS employees found Gardner’s body on a conveyor belt system around 3 p.m. April 14. Authorities said an autopsy revealed the man had several skull fractures and numerous cuts to his face and neck. An arrest affidavit said a Travis County medical examiner determined the cause of death to be blunt force trauma.
According to the affidavit, investigators also found several bloody items at the recycling center, including a large piece of limestone.
Investigators, speaking with Jeffery Fitzgerald, a homeless friend of Gardner’s, learned that the deceased man slept at night near the Church of Christ at 517 Bouldin Avenue near Barton Springs Road, close to where Bohart was also known to stay, the affidavit said.
Fitzgerald also told police Bohart was “crazy” and would often antagonize and get into arguments with Gardner, the affidavit said. Investigators spoke with other homeless people who said they avoided Bohart because she was known to attack people and try to steal from them, according to the affidavit.
Deputies found blood spatter on a gray trash bin and a blue recycle bin at the church, the affidavit stated. They also found Bohart, who agreed to be interviewed at a Travis County sheriff’s office facility.
Bohart told investigators she had had altercations with Gardner. According to the affidavit, she showed no reaction when she was told that he was dead. She speculated Gardner likely died from drug use, the affidavit said.
During the interview, Bohart started making unprompted statements to investigators that it was likely her DNA would be found near the blood spatter by the trash bins. When asked if her DNA would be found on a weapon, she said it would but that her DNA was planted. Bohart then asked for a lawyer, according to the affidavit.
This story was originally published in the Hays Free Press and is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.