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Suspects in 2020 corpse tampering case plead guilty

The body was found buried and surrounded by cinder blocks in a backyard.

AUSTIN, Texas — Two people arrested in the murder investigation of a 32-year-old man found dead and buried in 2020 pleaded guilty this week to tampering/fabricating physical evidence with the intent to impair a human corpse.

According to the Travis County District Attorney's Office, Walker Kaatz, 25, and Kristie Michelle Cardenas, 38, entered their pleas on Wednesday during a pre-trial hearing.

Both were charged on Aug. 19, 2020, for the above crimes. They were also charged with Nicklas Wayne Kinslow's murder on Sept. 5, 2020. They were later indicted for the different charges on Nov. 19, 2020.

“Our office takes acts of violence seriously and is committed to holding people who commit violent crimes accountable,” Travis County District Attorney José Garza said. “We hope this outcome brings closure and peace to the victim’s family.”

Kinslow was found shot to death and buried in a wall of cinder blocks behind a home on the 5800 block of Mohave Drive on Aug. 18. Police were tipped off to the body's location by a witness. According to the witness, Kinslow had been recently released from jail and was an ex-boyfriend of a woman living at the home.

In a completely separate case, the district attorney's office also announced that 19-year-old Christopher Michael Garcia pleaded guilty to the Feb. 16, 2021, murder of 29-year-old Misael Robello Sanchez. He also entered his plea on Wednesday.

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