Austin police: Man beaten to death with guitar

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by JESSICA HOLLOWAY / KVUE News and photojournalist JOHN GIBSON

khou.com

Posted on April 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 24 at 1:22 PM

AUSTIN -- Police have made an arrest in Austin's ninth homicide of the year. Police say a man was beaten to death with an electric guitar.

Officers were called to the Barcelona Apartments at 2101 Elmont Drive in Southeast Austin Sunday April 22 at 9:25 a.m.

Peter Andrew Levay, 42, is in jail charged with murder. He's accused of killing 64-year-old Maurice Leray Eckert.

"The death was believed to be caused by blunt trauma to the head," said APD Detective Brett Bailey.

Levay told his roommate, Lavern Fisher, he thought he killed the man who lived upstairs. Fisher says Levay called his sister, who called the Austin Police Department, to check on the man who lived upstairs. When officers arrived, no one answered the door, so they forced their way inside.

According to an arrest affidavit, right after the homicide Levay didn't know what to do, so his roommate told him to "lay down and go to sleep."

Fisher says police found the victim's bloody clothes in Levay's closet, along with a wallet in the downstairs apartment.

Fisher says his roommate had been drinking with the man upstairs, and he thinks he knows what led to the murder.

"He started making sexual advances toward me and him, and they became violent," said Fisher.

Police say another possible motive is robbery.

Levay is in the Travis County Jail on $200,000 bond.

This is the City of Austin's ninth homicide in 2012. APD has solved eight of this year's nine cases.
Last year, the city had nine homicides at this same time last April.

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