Oak Cliff Bakery Owner Killed Dallas Artist After Instagram Live Interview, Police Say
The well-known owner of a Mexican bakery in North Oak Cliff is charged with killing a popular entertainer early Sunday after the pair live-streamed an interview on social media, Dallas police say.
Manuel Tellez interviewed Anthony Moreno at Maroches Bakery in the 1200 block of West Davis Street about Moreno’s sugar skull artwork that was on display in the store, according to an affidavit under arrest warrant – then the killed in an alley a few blocks away. shortly after.
Tellez, who faces a murder charge, does not have a lawyer listed on court records.
The affidavit does not specify the motive for the murder, but it does note that Tellez, 45, and Moreno, 52, shared “a romantic interest” in the same woman.
After the men finished the Instagram Live interview, Moreno texted his wife around 12:15 a.m. Sunday saying he would be returning home soon, according to the affidavit. Sometime before 2 a.m., the men made their way to an alley a few blocks from Kings Highway, where police said Tellez stabbed Moreno to death.
Tellez left, then returned around 3 a.m. with gasoline and set fire to Moreno’s body, according to the affidavit. Surveillance footage from a nearby house captured the fire.
Cell phone records and surveillance video from a nearby gas station show Tellez’s movements, according to the affidavit. Tellez, wearing a white latex glove, is seen on camera filling a portable gas can at around 2:10 a.m. The same type of glove was recovered from the crime scene, according to the affidavit.
A detective wrote in the affidavit that the footage showed Tellez wearing a surgical mask and baseball cap to conceal his identity, but his SUV had distinct rust spots on the passenger side of the roof that could be seen in the video. .
Moreno’s family reported him missing on Sunday. Police did not publicly identify him as the victim until Thursday, when they announced Tellez’s arrest for murder.
On Monday, Tellez posted a link on Facebook to a GoFundMe account for the victim’s family.
Moreno’s wife commented on it, upset.
“OMG I can’t believe he shared this! He killed my husband and made everything seem normal,” Ofelia Moreno wrote.
Moreno’s family did not respond to requests for comment.
Latinos in Dallas’ arts community said they were shocked by the artist’s murder – and Tellez’s arrest. His bakery on West Davis Street has been a family cultural space for Mexican music, poetry and crafts over the years.
“My heart goes out to the families,” said Ofelia Faz Garza, who had read poetry at the bakery.
Others said they were too shocked by the violence to comment publicly, but said their sympathy went out to the families of everyone involved.
Dallas artist Modesto Aceves said he met Moreno in 2018 when Moreno was trying to form a group of artists to put on shows together.
The two remained friends, and Aceves said they often went to art shows together. He said his friend was a hard worker and a strong supporter of other artists.
“He was a good motivator. He always supported you,” Aceves said.
The two had spoken the day before Moreno died, Aceves said. Moreno invited him to an art exhibition that day, but he was unable to attend.
On Sunday, Aceves saw posts on Facebook saying Moreno was missing. He texted his friend to ask if he was okay, but never received a response. He read Moreno’s death shortly after.
“It really hit me because if I had been with him maybe it wouldn’t have happened,” Aceves said.
Aceves also knew Tellez and would visit Maroches Bakery with Moreno. He said he never heard his friend say anything negative about Tellez. He said he watched part of the couple’s live interview and said nothing seemed to stand still.
“When I heard it was him, I said ‘Gosh’. I couldn’t believe it,” Aceves said.
Moreno recently described the art he created in the online publication CanvasRebel and said that most of his work focuses on “the strength, importance and visual demonstration that the definition of love is the woman”. He said he used woodcarvings, vinyl-like plastic sheets, and hand-cut glass to create two-dimensional pieces.
“I’m a romantic and I was raised by very strong women,” Moreno said.
Mayor Pro Tem Chad West, whose district includes North Oak Cliff, said in a written statement that he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Moreno’s murder.
“Our thoughts are with Anthony Moreno’s family as they go through this difficult time,” West said.
Maroches Bakery is known for selling homemade Roscas de Reyes cakes for the Catholic holiday of the Three Kings Day. Orders start arriving at the bakery months before the January holidays.
In 2018, Tellez defended a large, colorful mural on the side of his bakery before the city’s Landmark Commission, which considered erasing the art because the shop is in the historic Winnetka Heights neighborhood. His cause garnered support and the mural remained.
The store was open Friday and customers were coming and going. Employees declined to comment on the matter. Neighbors near the alley where Moreno was killed also refused to speak to a reporter.
Tellez remained in the Dallas County Jail on Friday, with bond set at $1.5 million.
Staff photographer Rebecca Slezak contributed to this report.