March 14, 2020
KILLEEN, Texas Authorities identified the woman and two men whom officers found dead after responding to a report of a water leak early Saturday at the Summerlyn Apartments at 4101 East Rancier Ave. in Killeen as Asia Cline, 22, Shaquan Markell Allred, 23, and Freddy Beningo Delacruz, Jr., 23.
The officers traced the leak to the apartment in which they found the three bodies.
All three were pronounced dead at the scene. All three had been shot repeatedly.
Officers had responded to the complex at around 1 a.m. Saturday after gunfire was reported, but could not find the source, police said.
They returned about 40 minutes later after the water leak was reported.
Barnard L. Morrow
March 31, 2022
Morrow was found guilty of triple homicide
sentenced to Life without Parole
BELTON — After hearing three days of testimony and evidence presented by the state, a jury in a capital murder trial heard the defense’s side on Thursday, including from the defendant.
However, they were not convinced of the story told by 23-year-old Barnard Lnell Morrow, a former Fort Hood soldier who gunned down three people at a Killeen apartment.
After a few hours of deliberation on Thursday afternoon, the jury returned a verdict of guilty.
“Having been convicted of capital murder, his sentence is automatic and as such the court sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole,” said Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, on Thursday. “We would like to extend our grateful appreciation for the hard work by the Killeen Police Department who gathered the evidence necessary to prove him guilty of this horrible crime.”
Morrow, of Newton, Mississippi, has been held in the Bell County Jail since Sept. 3, 2020.
The three people killed — Asia Cline, 22, Shaquan Markell Allred, 23, and Fort Hood soldier Spc. Freddy Beningo Delacruz Jr., 23 — were found in their apartment in the early morning hours of March 14, 2020, at Summerlyn Apartments.
A forensic pathologist from the Dallas County Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences testified on Wednesday that the three victims suffered a total of 20 gunshot wounds.
‘They were the only family I had in Texas’
The state rested its case at the end of the day on Wednesday, after calling 20 witnesses and presenting more than 150 items of evidence.
On Thursday, the defense called Morrow to the stand at its first of two witnesses. Frequently looking directly at members of the jury as he spoke, the defendant testified for about an hour and a half. Morrow said that he, Allred and Delacruz graduated together from Army basic training at Fort Benning, and that their friendship continued through the years.
Morrow joined the Army when he was 19 years old and served for about a year in a tank company.
After being stationed at Fort Hood, Morrow said he reached out to his old buddies and they obtained apartments just a 3-minute drive apart.
“We did a lot of things together,” Morrow said, referring to Allred. “Allred and ‘DC’ were the only family I had in Texas.”
Morrow said that he found out about the triple homicide the next day, when someone told him to check social media.
“I had a lot of thoughts,” he said. “It was sad.”
He told the jury that he did not know that undercover police were surveilling him in the days following the shootings, until on March 20, 2020, when the vehicle he was in was swarmed by police.
“I thought that this weapon that I came across again is why they’re here,” Morrow said.
Eventually, police were able to match the Canik 9-mm pistol in his possession at that moment to casings found at the crime scene.
Morrow insisted that his Canik, which he had purchased in 2019 from a soldier, had been stolen out of his vehicle in late January of 2020. The gun returned to his possession on March 16, 2020, when he went for a run and encountered a white Walmart bag with the disassembled gun inside, he said.
“Everyone knew the route that I take on my runs and that I stop there under the bridge to do push-ups, so the only person who could have found it was me,” Morrow said.
He told the jury that he had been at home drinking a daiquiri and talking to his mother during the time of the murder.
“I didn’t go to Allred’s apartment because I’d ran out of ‘green’ (marijuana) and I never show up empty-handed,” Morrow said. “I’d probably be dead, too.”
The state’s prosecutor questioned Morrow on apparent inconsistencies in his statements to police.
“You were giving them (KPD) bits and pieces and changing your story along the way,” said Assistant District Attorney Mike Bedford. “They gave you every opportunity to tell the truth and you continued to mislead them.”
Morrow admitted that he did not tell the police the entire story.
“I figured they were going to try and blame me for all this,” he said. “Now, I have to tell the truth because my life is on the line.”
After Morrow left the stand, his mother, Denise Lloyd, was called as a witness.
She told the jury that she and her son were messaging and video-chatting during the time of the murders. Defense attorney Mike White entered into evidence screen shots of the activity that was taking place from 11:57 p.m. to 1:27 a.m. on March 20, 2020.
“He was working on a song and he wanted to share it with me,” Lloyd said. “He was his regular self. He was excited about his song.”
‘This is a search for truth’
After the defense rested its case, the jury listened to closing arguments for about an hour.
“This is a search for truth and justice for Asia Cline, Shaquan Allred and Freddy Delacruz,” Bedford said.
He described in detail the circumstances of the deaths of each victim.
“Allred was playing a video game with a headset on ... he was shot execution-style, without a chance,” Bedford said. “Delacruz then would have been aware that something bad happened in the living room, and he ends up shot multiple times in the back as he fled the violence. Cline is someone that everyone loved. She was trapped in the bathroom of her own apartment. He unloads seven rounds into her head-on.”
White reminded the jury that, even though they naturally are driven to seek closure for the families of murder victims, the state has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“If we lock up the wrong person, there is no closure,” he said. “The search for truth stops.”
White argued that there was a lack of evidence against his client, and also a lack of motive.
“Barnard Morrow had no vengeful motive; these were friends he smoked and played video games with,” he said. “There were no hairs, no DNA, no fibers or other forensic evidence that places Barnard Morrow in that apartment on March 13 or 14, 2020.”