Man With Mansfield Ties Charged With Murder After Woman Dies in Fire

Authorities in the Texas Panhandle say a man with North Texas ties has been arrested and charged with murder after a woman in her 50s died in a fire.

The Lubbock Police Department says 22-year-old Austin Olen Hasten was charged with murder in connection with the apartment fire Friday night. He remains at the Lubbock County Jail on $3 million bond.

Hasten is originally from Mansfield, he graduated from Mansfield High School in 2008 and was a member of the football team.

Jail records show Hasten lives in an apartment in the same complex where the blaze happened.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports Saturday that firefighters found the woman's body after they entered her apartment to extinguish the blaze.

Sgt. Johnathan Stewart says police were called to the scene because it appeared suspicious. He did not say if the woman lived alone.

NBC news affiliate KCBD-TV reports investigators noticed signs of trauma on the woman's body.

Police say Hasten approached them at the scene and attacked officers before his arrest.

"As our officers were on the scene beginning the investigation and trying to just sort through what was going on, they were approached by a man. The man ended up attacking one of the officers and was taken into custody," Stewart told KCBD-TV.

The victim has been identified as Michele Lisa Terry, 51, of Sandia, Texas.

Texas Tech University confirmed Hasten "was a student" at the university but said his file was marked confidential and it could not release any more information.

Hasten's father is an attorney in Arlington. There was no response at the family home Saturday night.

His father's website says his son attended Texas A&M when he was 21.

NBC 5 has learned Hasten faces three felony charges in Brazos County, including assault on a public servant.

KBTX-TV reports in Dec. 2011 Hasten was accused of driving his pickup into an apartment building in Bryan and that he allegedly punched an officer in the face.

According to court documents Hasten also had a DWI in Bryan in 2010. All of the charges in Brazos County are still awaiting trial.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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