Troubled motel is the scene of Austin's 15th homicide



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Posted on June 30, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 30 at 10:36 PM

More trouble for a local motel with a troubled past.  Austin's 15th homicide of the year happened at the Budget Lodge in North Austin.

"My main concern is just to get out of this place," said Joseph Barrese, a guest at the Budget Lodge.

Motel guests couldn't leave the Budget Lodge fast enough after learning that a man had been stabbed there Wednesday afternoon.

"I've only been here three days and I paid for a week and I am am ready to hit the road," said Barrese.

Police arrived at 2 p.m. and found the stabbing victim.  He was taken to University Medical Center at Brackenridge where he died about an hour later.  Other guests, some who didn't want to be identified on camera, also were eager to check out.

"You can't never know who is coming, who is going to be knocking at your door in the middle of the night," said one of the guests who was checking out.

Wednesday's incident wasn't the first time police have visited the Budget Lodge.  Over the years, APD has tracked hundreds of crimes to the motel and area around it.  City inspectors cited dozens of safety violations on the property and even pulled its license to operate back in October of 2008 because of safety concerns.  That decision was eventually overturned and the motel was allowed to reopen.

"This place does have a reputation, it definitely has that," said Marcus Jones.

Despite that reputation, Marcus Jones was about to suggest friends of his stay at the Budget Lodge, then he learned about the stabbing.

"You don't necessarily listen to what people say but when you see it for yourself you would be a fool not to pay attention to it now, so it's time to go somewhere else, even before we hit the door," said Jones.

Austin police say at the moment there are no suspects in Wednesday's homicide. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Crimestoppers at 472-TIPS.

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