DA SHIRES: Records sealed in juvenile on trial for murder this week

Austin Underbrink was killed in October 2017; jury selected was released Tuesday morning

A juvenile arrested in connection with the October 2017 murder of Austin Underbrink, 23, was scheduled to stand trial this week but the jury trial was called off with the case not going to trial.

Shelby County District Attorney Stephen Shires since the court proceedings involved a juvenile subject he was not able to release details of outcome.

“The suspect remained a juvenile and the records in the case have been sealed,” Shires said.

Officials said jury selection was held Monday for the trail set to begin in 273rd District Court Judge James A. Payne's courtroom. Due to the large size of the jury pool, the selection process had been moved from the courthouse to the Windham Civic Center, they said.

While a jury was selected and reported for duty on Tuesday the members were released.

The juvenile had been detained in 2017 soon after Underbrink's shooting death on Oct. 15, according to Light and Champion news accounts from information released by the Shelby County Sheriff's Office at the time.

Sheriff Willis Blackwell reported at the time that his office's communications division received a call in reference to a deceased individual located at a residence on County Road 1470 in Center.

The victim was later identified as an Underbrink, 23, of Center.

“The victim appeared to have succumbed to injuries sustained from a gunshot,” the 2017 news account said. “Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Melissa Crouch performed the inquest and an autopsy was ordered.”

During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that Underbrink was shot and killed by a juvenile subject. The juvenile subject was located by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Investigators in Tenaha and taken into custody before being released to juvenile authorities.

Underbrink grew up in Shelby County and attended Joaquin ISD where he graduated in 2012.