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Crime scene technician: Blood was found in car of suspect in Austin choir teacher's murder

Shawn Gant-Benalcazar, the man accused of killing an Austin choir teacher in 2014, will soon learn his fate.

AUSTIN -- The jury responsible for deciding the fate of Shawn Gant-Benalcazar, the man accused of killing an Austin choir teacher, learned Tuesday that a crime scene technician found blood in several places in Gant-Benalcazar's vehicle.

The trial for Gant-Benalcazar began on Monday. He pleaded not guilty to a capital murder and burglary charge, despite past reports that he allegedly confessed to stealing jewelry from Kathy Blair's home in northwest Austin and stabbing her several times in December 2014.

A crime scene technician testified in court Tuesday that she processed biological matter found in the vehicle Tim Parlin borrowed from his sister and drove Gant-Benalcazar to and from Kathy Blair's home after the murder. Parlin is the co-defendant in this case. The technician said she found red stains in the leg area of the car and blood on the lower front passenger seat. Prosecutors believe that blood links the two men to the crime scene.

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Prosecutors also introduced a DPS trace expert who testified about how they were able to get Benalcazar's exact shoe type and size just from foot prints from the crime scene.

Police believe he and Parlin killed Kathy Blair in her home in December of 2014. They said the men broke into Blair's home and stole her jewelry as payback after her landlord didn't pay them for a landscaping job.

Jurors also heard from a deputy medical examiner who said Blair tried to fight off her attacker but was stabbed several times and choked. Her cause of death was multiple sharp force injuries and suffocation.

Attorneys in this case aren't talking but we caught up with Tim Parlin's lawyer, the other man charged in this case.

"There's a tremendous amount of information in this case and at this point we are just trying to see how the case unfolds from both sides. We're very curious as to the approach the state is going to take in this case," said Keith Lauerman.

If convicted, Gant-Benalcazar faces life in prison.

Testimony continues Wednesday morning.

Blair's son, Joseph Hargis, found her body after she was murdered and testified in court Monday that "there wasn't a lot" he could do.

KVUE Reporter Jenni Lee is covering the trial. Follow her tweets for the latest updates from the courtroom.

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