ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – The trial of a father and son accused of killing their neighbor during a fight in an Abilene alley over trash began Jan. 24.
Both Johnnie Dee and Michael Miller have been charged with the murder of Aaron Howard, who was fatally shot in an alley in the 4300 block of Don Juan Street on September 1, 2018. The defense pleaded not guilty and declared that the Millers had acted. of self-defense, while the state argues that Johnnie and Michael Miller are guilty and should be charged with murder.
KTAB/KRBC was present during the second day of the trial: here is a summary of January 25.
State Witness – Josh Mares:
On day two, code enforcement officer Josh Mares spoke about an altercation he had with Howard in May 2018. Mares was called in on a complaint about poor conditions in the alley and before he couldn’t knock on the house to inform the occupants of the violations, Howard walked out of the house.
Mares told her about the violations and said Howard got upset and started raising his voice. Howard started yelling and insulting her, which didn’t intimidate Mares until Howard was about one to two feet from her face. He remembered Howard saying “I’ll shoot you if you come back to my property.” He was accused of threatening an official.
Witness – John Chong:
APD officer John Chong was the first officer on the scene, responding to a call about two men fighting. He remembered two people screaming when he answered the call and separated them to get each side of the story. He remained on the street for about 45 minutes in case the argument resumed and was at the scene for about 30 minutes.
Chong did not identify them, but they were later identified as Howard and Campbell. They were fighting and choking each other before the officers (three in total) responded. Chong declined to answer if Howard had a “bad temper,” but shared that he was not threatened by him.
Witness – Jordan Brown:
Jordan Brown, APD Sergeant, responded to a shot at Don Juan. When he arrived, Howard was already in the hospital. Johnnie and Micheal Miller were separated in different patrol cars.
He shared that the Millers were ready to talk to the cops and interviewed Micheal Miller at the station. He reviewed Box’s video before interviewing Miller.
The defense spoke to jurors after viewing the video of the interrogation. The defense said Micheal Miller brought a gun because he was worried about his 67-year-old father after hearing threats from Howard. The Defense added that Howard appeared threatening and intimidating.
The Defense explained that Johnnie Miller fired after Howard raised a bat. Once Johnnie fired, Howard threw the bat and Micheal Miller fired to protect his father. The defense said Howard was the assailant and the Millers acted in self-defense.
Witness – Angel Montelongo:
Postman Angel Montelongo delivered mail four days before the shooting and said he was cutting yards to be faster. When delivering the mail to Howard’s home, Howard ran out of his house screaming and said “he doesn’t need to look at his daughter’s window” and began swearing at Montolango.
Montelongo shared that he had dating before, but it was different because Howard was so angry. He told Howard he could put his mail on hold at the post office, which drove him even crazier. Montelongo went to the mail car and Howard chased him to the car. Montelongo said he called the supervisors and Howard started screaming, hitting the mail car with his hand and threatening to kill him.
Witness – Jimmy Wood:
Jimmy Wood, an APD patrol officer, shared that he was in charge of guarding Campbell in the backyard on the day of the incident. Wood also shared that he had been with APD for 18 years and knew Howard was an “aggressive guy.” The defense said Campbell’s testimony did not match that of Woods.
Witness – Courtney Estes:
Courtney Estes, a close neighbor, said she saw Howard drag Box by the hair to the ground. At the time, there were children present and when Howard raised his hand to them, the children ran inside. Estes was also present when Howard and Campbell argued in the front yard.
She said she saw one of them throw a skateboard, which hit a house. She heard threats and Howard said the police weren’t allowed in his house and if they showed up they would kill him.
Estes also said he noticed fewer people walking around the neighborhood while Howard was there and after the family left, people started walking around again.
Witness – Mary Louise Dunlap:
Mary Louise Dunlap, a close neighbor, said Campbell was suffocated by Howard and the body was slammed. She called the police when she saw them fighting and saw Howard telling one of the officers to get off his property while pointing a finger at the officer’s chest.
Witness – Bill Wheatley:
Bill Wheatley, APD Marshall, said Howard threatened John Mares, the code enforcer. He took a statement from Johnnie Miller, but was fired before completing his statement due to disagreements between attorneys.
Witness – Christina Enriquez:
Howard accused Enriquez of cutting the line and insulted her, according to his account. She explained that he said ugly things about her and told her “I can beat your ass and I don’t care if you’re a woman.”