SANTA FE

A COVID-19 stimulus check was at the center of a fight that left one man dead and another charged with murder earlier this month, according to the Galveston County Sheriff's Office.

Asa Fourcade, 37, of Santa Fe, was charged with murder on Sept. 4 in the beating death of Phillip Shepeard, according to the sheriff's office.

Fourcade is accused of striking Shepeard, 65, with a metal pole inside a house on Avenue E in unincorporated Santa Fe, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Fourcade was arrested at the house after another person called police, according to the affidavit. Fourcade told investigators he had been fighting with Shepeard over a stolen stimulus check.

Earlier this year, many U.S. adults received checks of $1,200 or more as part of an economic relief effort during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many people received checks through direct deposits to their bank accounts, but about 35 million people received the checks by mail.

In his interview with deputies, Fourcade accused Shepeard of stealing his check, according to the affidavit. They also fought about a vehicle Shepeard won from Fourcade in a dice game, according to the affidavit.

Shepeard was flown to a Houston hospital for treatment but later died, according to the affidavit.

Fourcade was held on $250,000 bond and was still in custody Thursday afternoon at the Galveston County Jail, police said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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(1) comment

Doug Sivyer

lock him up and throw away the key

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