A father and son from Abilene, Texas have been charged with murder after they were caught on camera shooting their neighbor in a trash dispute.
John Miller, 67, and his son, Michael Miller, 31, were charged with first degree murder in the death of Aaron Howard, 37.
They were arrested on September 1, but were released a day later on $ 25,000 bail, according to jail records.
However, the two men were taken into custody on Friday after a district court reviewed the original bonds and increased them to $ 250,000 each, police said on Friday.
The murderous meeting between the neighbors was videotaped by Howard’s common-law partner, Kara Box.
WARNING: THE VIDEO IS TROUBLE.
The video, published by the Star-Telegram trash video, showed the Millers – armed with guns – arguing with Howard over a mattress that Howard had thrown in the common alley behind their homes on Don Juan Street.
The video captured the Millers repeatedly shooting Howard who was shot at least twice, police said. He died after being taken to hospital, police said.
The two Millers admitted to shooting Howard, police said.
Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge said neighbors started arguing over the litter in the alley “days” before the September 1 shooting.
Box Told the Star-Telegram that she and Howard had thrown a double mattress in a dumpster in the alley a few days before the shooting.
On the morning of September 1, the couple saw the mattress was on their property, so they threw it in the dumpster, Box said. This prompted their neighbor John Miller to throw the mattress on their property, Box said.
An argument ensued between Howard and John Miller who refused to put the mattress back in the dumpster and then pulled a handgun from his pocket, Box said.
This enraged Howard, who accused his neighbor of firing a gun while his nieces and nephews were in the yard with him, according to Box.
The brawl escalated when John’s son Michael Miller recovered a shotgun from his residence, police said.
There were a total of five people in the alley, including Millers, Howard, Box and an unidentified member of Howard’s family, police said.
In the video, Box and Howard can be heard yelling at John Miller for firing a gun in front of children.
“If you come near me, I’ll kill you,” John Miller told Howard.
Howard – who did not have a gun – is repeatedly heard from John Miller that he was going to kill him.
“You’re in an alley with a shotgun, you shit,” Howard said. “I’m going to kill you.”
“I doubt it,” the older Miller replies.
Michael Miller, who is seen standing behind his father holding a shotgun over his shoulder, then says to Howard, “First of all, if you’re going to show this video to the cops, you might as well stop screaming. go kill us. ”
Howard is then heard screaming, “I don’t care. I’m going to kill you. You fired a gun at my children.
John Miller is heard telling Howard to “back off” several times.
At one point during the confrontation, a member of Howard’s family allegedly retrieved a baseball bat from their residence, police said.
John Miller is then heard urging Howard to “swing” on him, while Howard repeatedly provokes him to point his gun at him.
Howard then says to young Miller, “You’re a bitch, I’m going to kill you too,” to which the son replies, “Fuck you, motherfucker.”
“If you come within three feet of me, I’ll kill you,” the older Miller told Howard.
Box intervenes by saying, “You’re not going to shoot my husband.”
Howard yells repeatedly, “shoot me” and “point him”.
At least two gunshots are then heard on the video, after which Michael Miller can be seen shooting his shotgun.
At least four more shots can be heard in the video, and police said callers reported up to five shots.
Box is then heard shouting: “Aaron, no, no” as she rushes to her husband.
Box told the Star-Telegram that John Miller then put the handgun to his head and yelled at him to get down, while his son went over to Howard’s brother and placed the rifle on his head. Police responded to the scene shortly after.
A detective who reviewed the footage said it emerged from the video and interviews with the Millers that “they were tired of their neighbor Aaron Howard acting, yelling and verbally threatening them,” according to a statement released by the Millers. Abilene police on Friday.
The statement said Howard “grew more and more upset” during the argument as the Millers stood in the alley with their guns.
Police said John Miller fired the first shots as soon as Howard lifted his baseball bat while standing about seven feet from John. By the time Michael Miller unloaded his shotgun and his father fired the last two shots, Howard was unarmed, police said.
“I really don’t have a comment one way or the other,” John Miller Told the Washington Post Thursday. “This is something that I consider to be a private matter between me and the state of Texas.”
The Millers could not be reached for comment on Friday.
“[The Millers] deserve to spend your life in jail, ”Box told KTXS.
She did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.