F’ville man charged with murder of roommate

Alexander Shinn, 25, faces life in prison for murder, mayhem and kidnapping of his roommate


FARMERSVILLE – The Farmersville man accused of brutally beating his roommate to death may spend the rest of his life in prison.

Alexander Shinn

Alexander Shinn

On Dec. 12, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward announced that Alexander Shinn, 25, of Farmersville was charged with one count of murder, one count of aggravated mayhem, and one count of kidnapping in connection with the death of his roommate, 25-year-old Brian Garza of Farmersville. If convicted on all charges, Shinn faces the possibility of life in prison. Shinn was arraigned on the charges on Dec. 11, 2018. He is being held without bail. Shinn’s next court appearance is scheduled for today, Dec. 19, in Department 4 of the Tulare County Superior Court.

The crime happened on Dec. 8 at a house in the 900 block of West Ponderosa where Shinn and Garza lived with two other roommates. At around 4 a.m., Shinn woke up and then armed himself with a two and a half foot long chrome bar and began beating Garza while he was asleep on the living room couch.

“Garza was struck numerous times by Shinn with the bar and in addition Shinn physically assaulted the victim including kicking, strangling and hitting his head against the tile floor of the residence,” Farmersville police reported.

Shinn took Garza out to an SUV that he drove often, after attempting to clean the scene. Shinn drove Garza just outside of Strathmore and left him in a grove. When he returned home, Shinn told his roommate that Garza had been abducted by a lone assailant wearing all dark clothing and a mask.

“Later in the day roommates called police to report the possible kidnapping and Shinn was ultimately contacted by police at the residence,” the Farmersville police report revealed.

Farmersville police found a large amount of physical evidence linking Shinn to the crime including the chrome bar used in the assault. Farmersville police says the exact cause of death is pending an autopsy by the Tulare County Coroner’s Office.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information in this case is encouraged to contact Detective Barklow with the Farmersville Police Department at 559-747-0321.

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