On the last night Glenn Felts was alive, he and Tony Flint were leaving the well-known La Kiva bar and restaurant located in Terlingua together after it had closed up for the night, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Around midnight Tuesday night, Flint, 37, was helping Felts, 50, leave the business because, according to the affidavit, both men were “highly intoxicated.” Felts is the owner of La Kiva and, according to Big Bend Now, Flint is a river guide for an unspecified company.
What happened next has shocked the small community.
Around 8 a.m. that morning, an unidentified employee who worked at the bar came in to start up the barbecue pit and get the food cooking for the day, Brewster County Sheriff Ronny Dodson said. The employee saw the lights to the bar were still on with the music playing and went to Felts’ house, located on the property, to inform him of the issue, Dodson continued.
While walking to his house, the employee saw a body in the parking lot, but thought nothing of it because “it’s a bar” and saw people passed out all the time and the employee figured it was someone sleeping, the sheriff continued, adding the sight of someone passed out on the premises is common.
However, when the employee got to Felts’ residence, Dodson said she noticed Felts’ bed had not been slept in.
“That’s when she realized it (the body) was him,” Dodson said.
On Wednesday, law enforcement officials charged Flint with murder in connection to Felts’ death. Flint was being held Wednesday at the Brewster County Sheriff’s Department on a $200,000 bond. Rod Ponton, the 83rd District Attorney, said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.
During the investigation Tuesday, Flint told officials him and Felts fell after leaving the bar, with Felts injuring his face and fists in the process, the affidavit stated. After the fall, Flint told officials he drug Felts near some rocks, then proceeded to drive back to his residence while “blacked out” and went to sleep, the affidavit stated.
However, Flint reportedly lied to Brewster County investigators about what he was wearing at the time of the incident, with many witness at the bar saying Flint was wearing a red beanie, the affidavit stated. Law enforcement officials reported finding a red beanie in an area where Felts was found.
During their investigation, law enforcement officials also found an area where an “obvious altercation” had happened and noted that Flint had bruises to the left side of his face and his right hand, the affidavit stated.
When law enforcement officials searched Flints’ residence, they reported finding boots and clothing that had blood on them, the affidavit stated.
Since the news of the Felts’ death, Dodson said the community has not only been mourning the bar owner, but Flint as well.
“The suspect was also well liked,” Dodson said.” They (the residents) felt like they’ve lost two friends.”
Ponton said he could not comment on the case, and said his office would do everything to make sure they had all the information in the case.
“Our office will work hard to prosecute the person who is responsible,” Ponton said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Dodson said the bar was no longer a crime scene has been given back to Felts’ family.
Friends and family took to Facebook and social media to say they would be continuing the bar’s Wednesday “open mic night” in the parking lot. Calls made to the bar Wednesday evening were not answered.
La Kiva’s website states the original bar was first built in the 1980s by Felts’ uncle Gilbert. Felts became the owner of the bar in 1991 and the website describes the bar as a “party mecca for locals and a ‘must-see’ for tourists.”
Friends expressed grief and outrage at the news on La Kiva’s Facebook page, many opting to share their favorite stories about Felts or about the bar.
Janet Cochran wrote about how Felts waited for his liquor license and, how even through many delays, Felts always had a smile on his face.
“I am so thankful to have known you,” Cochran posted. “I know, and love, lots of folks but few hold that special place called ‘friend.’ ”
Chris Elley also posted a comment that stated everyone who came into La Kiva took home some of Felts’ spirit.
“The world thanks you Glenn,” Elley stated.
Even people who did not know Felts left condolences on the page, expressing sympathy to all those who did know the bar owner.
“I have never been to La Kiva, nor did I know Glenn, but a friend told me about how great it was there and I was hoping to play a show there soon,” Jeremy Jaros wrote. “Condolences to all his family and friends.”