"They say I gave her a concussion and stuff," Tyrone Fountain said as he spoke to WDSU about the vicious beating of Marla Belin

By Chris Harris
January 03, 2019 02:59 PM
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A suspected killer surprisingly confessed Monday after local news crew approached him on the streets of New Orleans to discuss the allegations against him.

Tyrone Fountain, 40, did not hesitate to talk to a WDSU crew, which was filming at the scene of the Dec. 17, 2018, beating death of local music promoter Marla Belin, 55, who died on Dec. 28. Police have accused Fountain of robbing Belin but the suspect characterized the fatal incident as a dispute over money, according to the outlet.

“I turned around and I hit her,” Fountain admitted to a WDSU reporter, adding that he “panicked.”

PEOPLE confirms Fountain was initially arrested three days after the attack. He was charged with second-degree battery and simple robbery and later released on $20,000 bond.

Belin spent her finals weeks in a hospital bed, with life support machines keeping her alive. After relatives moved to take her off life support, the charges against Fountain were upgraded to second-degree murder, according to online court records.

When questioned about the active warrant for his arrest, Fountain told WDSU he was unaware of it but said he knew Belin had died from watching the local news. He turned himself over to New Orleans police later on the day he spoke to the network.

A police report obtained by PEOPLE alleges that on Dec. 17, Fountain “body slammed the victim to the ground, slammed her head on the concrete several times and then struck her in the face.”

The report indicates “the suspect fled the location with the victim’s purse.”

marla-belin
Credit: New Orleans Police Dept.; Facebook

Fountain spoke candidly about the assault as the camera rolled.

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“[She] tells me get away from her, [and] let the dogs out on me,” started Fountain, who claims to suffer from blackout-inducing epilepsy. “The dogs attack me all on my hands [which] were messed up and stuff. I run away — try to get away from her — she’s chasing behind me. I go into a panic attack — epilepsy, you know I have grand mal, all kinds of seizures the doctors and stuff can tell you all this — I black out.”

Fountain told the reporter that’s when Belin grabbed him.

“So, in that case, I’m not knowing what happened,” Fountain offered. “I turned around and I hit her. They say I gave her a concussion and stuff. I don’t know what happened and stuff, but they say I got into a fight with her and stuff and she’s on the ground. They say she’s all busted up and stuff. They say I robbed her and stuff, but what happened was when the dogs got out, I panicked.”

PEOPLE was unable to determine if Fountain has entered pleas to the charges against him, and information concerning his attorney was unavailable.