Teen charged with murder in girlfriend's mysterious fatal fall

September 26, 2011 1:53:56 PM PDT
We are getting our first look at a man charged in the death of his 18-year-old girlfriend. The teen was found last week at the bottom of some stairs in the apartment she shared with the suspect. We are also learning more about how that victim, Jessica Leigh Thrash, died.

Gabriel Robert Barrionuevo is charged with murder. He's scheduled to go before a judge on Monday.

Barrionuevo, 19, is the boyfriend and roommate of Thrash. Her body was found on Tuesday in their apartment in southeast Houston. At the time, Barrionuevo told police investigators that he found her at the bottom of the staircase in a pool of blood and he believed she had fallen down the stairs.

Police told us at that time that they didn't buy his story. They did question Barrionuevo that day, but released him.

On Friday, police arrested Barrionuevo and charged him in connection with Thrash's death. Police say Thrash suffered injuries to her head, and her skull was crushed. They say Barrionuevo confessed to having a fight with Thrash when she fell down the stairs. Further, court documents show that Barrionuevo struck the girl with his hand, along with an automobile tire and a wheel.

Barrionuevo is in custody. His bond is set at $100,000.

Thrash's memorial service began Monday morning in Pearland, at about the same time Barrionuevo was initially due in court.

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