Heights murder suspect brought back to face charges

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A man wanted in a March 10 murder in Harker Heights who was found in California is now back in Bell County to face charges.

26-year-old Joseph Manuel Blas had been wanted in the shooting death of Thomas Raymond West, who was found in the 1000 block of Indian Trail when police answered calls about shots being heard fired.

The victim was able to talk as officers and emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene, but died shortly from gunshot wounds to the abdomen and hip.

Police were able to identify Blas as a suspect and obtained an arrest warrant for him March 12.

He had been held in Orange County, California until an extradition service brought him to the Bell County Jail over the weekend.

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