Father-son duo who shot dead neighbor over trash dispute re-arrested with an increased bond of $250,000
John Miller and Michael Miller were initially freed on a $25,000 bond but were re-arrested on orders of a judge.
Sixty seven-year-old John Miller and his 31-year-old son Michael Miller were arrested over the shooting death of their neighbor, 37-year-old Aaron Howard. The trio had gotten into a heated argument about a mattress that had been dumped on Aaron's lawn which culminated in him get shot by by the father-son duo and which led to his death. Soon after Aaron's death, the Millers were arrested but were soon freed on a $25,000 bond.
According to KTXS, both father and son have been arrested once again after a judge increased their bond to ten times the previous amount: $250,000. Speaking about the case, Abilene Police Chief Stan Stanbridge said, "Both John and Michael Miller’s bonds were originally set at $25,000 each by a Justice of the Peace. They then bonded out immediately, which was a great concern to both myself and our community. Taylor County District Attorney, Jim Hicks, filed a Motion of Insufficiency of Bond this afternoon to address the Department and public’s concern."
The incident had unfolded on September 1, with the authorities revealing they were investigating a shooting in the alley behind the 4300 block of Don Juan that morning. It was later determined that the fight had been over the dumping of a mattress and that both John Miller and Michael Miller discharged their firearms at Aaron, fatally injuring him. The 37-year-old was rushed to the Hendrick Medical Center for treatment but succumbed to his wounds.
Howard's fiancee, Kara Box, had taken a video of the entire altercation on her cell phone and distributed it publicly, bringing the case to the attention of the public and resulting in an outcry against both the Millers. Speaking about the incident, she said, "We had thrown out a twin mattress in a dumpster in our alley a few days before the shooting. You have to have the mattress in the dumpster or they will not haul it away."
However, on the day of the shooting, they noticed that the mattress was back on their property and threw it back in the alley, which is supposedly shared by them and the Millers. It's here that John Miller came out into the alley and threw the mattress back into the couples' property. Aaron confronted him and soon, the confrontation escalated with Michael Miller joining in as well.
When the first shots were fired, Aaron had a bat in his hand — which Karen says he received from his brother — and was approximately seven feet away from John Miller. In the video, Miller can be heard threatening Aaron and saying, "If you come closer to me, I’m gonna kill you. If you come within 3 feet of me, I’m going to kill you." Despite Karen's desperate attempt at an intervention, Michael Miller discharged his shotgun at the 37-year-old, with John Miller similarly firing his pistol at his neighbor.
Taylor County District Attorney James Hick said that he only found out that the video of the incident existed from KTXS-TV. He said in a statement: "Video evidence like this is always graphic and very difficult to watch. But it is consistent with the charges."
When Box was asked at the time if she had any message for the Millers, she said: "You deserve to spend your lives in prison."
(NSFW,/Viewer discretion is advised) Watch the video of the shootout here: