ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene man was arrested Monday, charged with Family Violence Aggravated Assault, will be having his charges upgraded to Felony Murder after the death of his victim.

According to a press release from the Abilene Police Department (APD), police responded to a call about an injury in the 600 block of North Bowie Drive, around 5:00 p.m. Monday, January 2. There, police found a 35-year-old man with blunt force trauma to his head, and a 28-year-old woman with minor injuries. The man was hospitalized.

Police said they learned the injuries were caused during a family dispute that turned violent. Soon after, the suspect ran off. Mario Valerio, 36, was found a short distance away and was arrested.

Valerio is being held in the Taylor County Jail on a $180,000 bond with the following charges:

  • First Degree Felony Aggravated Assault Family Violence
  • Second Degree Felony Assault Family Violence
  • State Jail Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance

APD said Valerio was also issued a no-bond Parole Violation.

Come Thursday, a local hospital staff allegedly told detectives with the Major Investigations Bureau the 35-year-old victim had passed away due to his injuries.

The victim’s family has been notified and police identified him as Bruce Alan Payne Jr.

Because of Payne’s death due to injury inflicted by Valerio, APD said it is upgrading his charge of First Degree Felony Aggravated Assault Family Violence to First Degree Felony Murder.

Valerio continues to be held at the Taylor County Jail with no bond. Police included that no additional updates should be expected.