Man sentenced for falsification, capital murder charge dropped

Austin (KXAN) – On Jan. 4, a Travis County judge sentenced a Central Texas man to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to forging/manufacturing evidence with intent to damage a human corpse, a felony in the second degree.

Harvey Lester Ciphers, 56, was previously charged with capital murder for a crime committed in April 2016, according to Travis County court records. The murder charge was dropped the same day he was sentenced.

According to the records, Cyphers was also charged with another charge of tampering/manufacturing physical evidence with the intent to cause damage, which also showed a 25-year sentence; however, the offers will run concurrently.


Prison records showed that Cyphers was arrested in September 2020. The arrest was made in connection with the death in 2016 of Sidney Taylor and Chrislyn Gibson, both from Houston, who visited Austin for a music festival.

The 2016 indictment alleges that Cyphers tried to hide one of the bodies from the police. Reports state that items such as a bath mat, shower liner, shower curtain, and bath towels were used to conceal the body.

As of Friday, records showed the Ciphers remained in the Travis County Jail.

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