A Texas father and son reportedly caught on tape fatally shooting their neighbor during an argument over a mattress were re-arrested Saturday and had their bond increased.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that John Miller, 67, and Michael Miller, 31, were rearrested after the victim’s fianceé, Kara Box, recently provided footage of the deadly September 1 dispute to local media. The pair were initially arrested the day Aaron Howard, 37, was killed and were released from custody after each posting $25,000 bond.
The Millers are now being held on $250,000 bond each as they face first-degree murder charges.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a video appears to show John holding a handgun and Michael wielding a shotgun as they argued with Howard in an alleyway on the morning in question. Box told the Star-Telegram that, at one point during a dispute, Howard’s brother went into their Abilene home and got a baseball bat.
“We had thrown out a twin mattress in a dumpster in our alley a few days before the shooting,” Box said. “You have to have the mattress in the dumpster or they will not haul it away.”
Box and Howard were in their backyard that morning and reportedly noticed the mattress on their property, prompting them to put the mattress back into the dumpster. As he put the mattress in the dumpster, Box said John came to the alley, removed the mattress, and threw it back on their property.
Box claimed Howard went into “papa bear mode” when the pair brandished their guns, as Howard’s nieces and nephews were in the backyard amid the confrontation.
In the video Box provided to KTXS, the Millers—with their guns in plain view—are heard telling Howard that they’ll shoot him if he comes closer. Howard is caught mentioning something about getting a BB gun.
“If you come within three foot of me I’m gonna shoot you,” the father says.
“You’re not gonna shoot my husband,” Box says to him while standing in between the men.
Howard is overheard saying, “shoot me” before someone off camera says, “you’re dead, point it.” The men are seen opening fire as Box runs to her injured husband.
Reports indicated that at least five shots were fired. Howard’s cause of death was listed as “gunshot wound of the chest and shotgun wound of the chest,” according to the news station.
In a statement issued to the Abilene Reporter, Police Chief Stan Standridge said he filed a motion of insufficiency of bond in district court Friday “to address the (Abilene Police) Department and public’s concern.” Stanridge also indicated that the video gave detectives more context regarding what happened that fateful morning.
“He [Detective Jordan Brown] believes it is apparent from the video, combined with the interviews of the Millers, that they were tired of their neighbor, Aaron Howard, acting out and yelling and threatening them verbally,” the chief said. “They brought out firearms during this argument and both Millers stood in the alley as Aaron Howard got more and more upset. As soon as he raised the bat while approximately seven or more feet away from John, John shot him.”
The father and son reportedly remain jailed as of Monday.
***WARNING: The video below contains violence and language that could be offensive to some viewers. Please use discretion.***
[Featured Image: KTXS video screengrab]