Lawyer stabbed to death after taking accused killer shopping, deputies say

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — A 24-year-old man has been charged in the death of a Texas defense attorney who was found dead in his home last week.

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Justin Nickolas Twyne, 24, is charged with murder. Twyne and Austin attorney James Short had recently exchanged text messages which show that Short gave Twyne his southwestern Travis County address so they could meet at his house, an arrest affidavit said.

The affidavit said Short was stabbed to death and that apparently Short had taken Twyne shopping at a nearby Wal-Mart the day before Short’s body was found.

Detectives found a bloody knife on Short’s bed, the affidavit said. There was also a backpack in the house, and they found Twyne’s identification inside.

Analysis later showed that a bloody fingerprint matched Twyne’s fingerprint, the affidavit said.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force tracked down Twyne in New Orleans on Friday and arrested him on an unrelated warrant. Twyne declined to speak with a Travis County sheriff’s detective, the affidavit said.

Investigators have said they believe Short, 74, was targeted.

Deputies got a call at 11:45 a.m. Friday from someone who asked them to check on Short’s home in the 8000 block of Rockwood Circle, off U.S. 290, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Kristen Dark.

According to his page on the Texas Bar Association website, Short earned his law degree in 1984 from Texas Southern University and has been licensed to practice law in the state since 1988.