A man upset about his high school-age daughter’s relationship with a woman killed the girlfriend and her mother in a Southeast Austin home Monday night, culminating a months-long feud between the families, police said Tuesday.
Jose Alfonso Aviles, 45 , went to the house in the 7100 block of Dixie Drive where Norma Hurtado, 24, lived with her mother and shot both women after knocking on the door, officials said Tuesday. He has been charged with capital murder and could receive life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.
Police said they are looking for a second unidentified man who witnesses said fled the scene with Aviles in a green sport utility vehicle.
Aviles’ daughter, who was in the home at the time, found Norma Hurtado and her mother, 57-year-old Maria Hurtado , after they were shot, according to police and court documents.
The daughter’s “family was quite upset over this relationship,” Austin police Lt. Gena Curtis said Tuesday. “This had been an ongoing dispute between these families and it turned tragic, into a horrific act of violence with the death of two individuals.”
The daughter told police that she and Norma Hurtado had been involved in a lesbian relationship, which her father did not approve of, and that there had been disturbances between Aviles and Norma Hurtado, according to an arrest affidavit. An online records search for those incidents turned up a report of a sexual assault in September and a family disturbance in October; however, police did not release details of the incidents.
The American-Statesman is not identifying the daughter.
The affidavit said a witness told police that the daughter’s parents would send threatening text messages to Norma Hurtado. In one message, Aviles threatened to kill Hurtado and her mother, the document says.
“She stated that (the girlfriend’s) parents have sent text messages threatening Norma because of this relationship,” the witness, a friend of Norma Hurtado’s, told police. About a month ago, the witness “saw a text message from (Aviles) to Norma in which (he) threatened to kill both Norma and her mother,” police said.
According to the daughter’s Facebook posts, she and Norma Hurtado had a tumultuous relationship over the past several months and talked about having patience until they could be together.
Friends of the daughter, who they said turned 18 last month, said Tuesday that her parents did not approve of her being in a gay relationship. The Travis County district attorney’s office has not determined whether the case will be classified as a hate crime.
“It is something we will have to take a look at after the investigation is more complete,” said Jackie Wood, an assistant district attorney and a member of the office’s hate crime task force.