AUSTIN -- Police have charged a woman with first degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of her neighbor.
Lou Ann Tompkins, 53, was charged with killing Darin Bell in his motor home off Winnebago Lane off Burleson Road near Ben White Boulevard.
On Jan. 22, 2011, police received a call from Bell's friend who said he had found Bell dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Police also noticed several bullet holes in the back of Bell's mobile home, as well as a single-fired .9 mm cartridge case.
A note was also found in spiral notebook and is believed to have been written by Bell. It described a woman named "Lew" who owns many dogs and carries guns. The letter claimed that "Lew" had shot at Bell several times and read, "...so if you find me dead then it was 'Lew.'"
Several of Bell's friends told police that Bell had been having issues with a transient neighbor named Lou Ann Tompkins. They each said Bell had several run-ins with her, including a time when she threw his property out of his home, cracked his windshield and fired shots at the back of his Winnebago.
Neighbors say Lou accused Bell of stealing a radiator from one of her junk vehicles. One friend told police that Bell was "scared she was going to kill him."
Another friend told police that Lou printed out paper listing Bell's criminal history and a list of active warrants, and she seemed angry that Bell was not in jail.
On Jan. 25, police issued a search warrant for Lou's home. Inside they found seven handguns, including one which matched up with the .9 mm cartridge case found inside Bell's home.
Tompkins was arrested and charged with first degree murder.