A man accused of killing a New Orleans talent agent turned himself into police Monday night. Police identified the suspect as 40-year-old Tyrone Fountain.
According to investigators, Marla Belin, who represented local musicians, died Friday after being beaten and robbed on December 17. Marla Belin had been hospitalized since the attack and was taken off life support, according to her friend, Lani Ramos. Ramos said Belin was a breast cancer survivor who advocated for New Orleans musicians.
“She just wanted to continue that in her life because that was her life’s work in supporting the music here in New Orleans,” Ramos said.
New Orleans police identified Fountain as a suspect the day after the attack, describing the case as a simple robbery involving a struggle over the victim’s purse. An initial police report also said that “the suspect body slammed the victim to the ground, slammed her head on the concrete several times and then struck her in the face. The suspect fled the location with the victim’s purse.”
Court records show that Fountain was arrested December 20 on second-degree battery and simple robbery charges. The records show that Orleans Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell set Fountain’s bond at $20,000. Fountain was then released on bond.
NBC affiliate WDSU confirmed that the charges against Fountain were upgraded to second-degree murder following Belin’s death, and a warrant was put out for his arrest. While at the scene of the crime Monday, a neighbor pointed Fountain out to a WDSU crew. Fountain agreed to talk on camera about what he said happened.
Fountain said he suffers from epilepsy and has violent blackouts. He said he knew Belin and was arguing with her about money when he turned violent.
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