Father, son accused of killing their neighbor over dispute about a box spring

A father and son are facing murder charges after police say they shot and killed a neighbor in Abilene, Texa...

Posted: Sep 24, 2018 9:07 AM
Updated: Sep 24, 2018 9:07 AM

A father and son are facing murder charges after police say they shot and killed a neighbor in Abilene, Texas, over a dispute about a box spring -- an incident the victim's common-law wife caught on camera.

According to police, on September 1, John Miller, 67, and his son Michael Miller, 31, got into a confrontation with their neighbor over a box spring mattress in a shared alleyway.

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Crimes against persons

Criminal offenses

Homicide

Firearms

Weapons and arms

Donald Trump

Political Figures - US

Shootings

Criminal law

Law and legal system

Murder

The argument escalated, and both father and son discharged a handgun and a shotgun, respectively, killing 37-year-old Aaron Howard, police said.

In a press conference the day of the shooting, Abilene police Chief Stan Standridge said the Millers had been arrested on murder charges.

They both immediately bonded out on initial bonds set at $25,000 each, according to an updated statement from Standridge released Friday, "a great concern to both myself and our community."

The Millers were taken into custody again Friday afternoon after a court reviewed their bonds and raised them to $250,000 each, Standridge's statement said.

Reached by CNN on Friday, Michael Miller declined to comment. When asked if he had an attorney, he said, "We have an attorney, but I'd rather not divulge his name at this time."

"We have not entered a plea, and I don't want to say anything else," he added.

Online jail records Friday said the Millers faced charges of first-degree murder. The Taylor County Criminal Court clerk told CNN on Friday they had not been formally charged.

'You just pulled a gun in front of my kids'

Howard's common-law wife, Kara Box, filmed the incident on her phone and released the footage to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper. CNN has reached out to Box for comment but has not heard back.

When the video begins, John and Michael Miller are standing by what looks to be a box spring mattress. The father holds a handgun in his right hand, while his son stands behind him, with a shotgun over his shoulder.

"Oh yeah, you're going to jail," Howard tells them, before walking toward the elder Miller.

"I'm right (expletive) here," he says.

"Back off," John Miller says. "If you come closer to me, I'm going to kill you."

"You pulled a gun in front of my kids over a (expletive) mattress," Howard says. He also repeatedly threatens to kill the Millers, according to the video.

The confrontation escalates as both sides let loose profanities and threats. Police have said at some point someone went inside Howard's home and brought out a baseball bat.

"If you come within 3 foot of me, I'm going to kill you," John Miller tells Howard.

"You're not going to shoot my husband," Box says.

"Come on, shoot me. You're dead. Point it," Howard says, before two gunshots ring out. After a brief moment, more gunshots can be heard.

Box cries, "Aaron? Aaron!" and runs toward Howard, who's lying on the ground.

Howard died of at least two gunshot wounds, according to police.

Suspects admitted to shooting, police say

Both John and Michael Miller admitted to shooting Howard, Standridge said in his Friday statement, which was posted on Facebook.

"When the first shots were fired," the statement said, "Aaron had a bat in his hand and was approximately seven feet from John Miller, who was closest to him. When Michael Miller discharged his shotgun and John Miller fired the final two rounds from his pistol, Aaron Howard was unarmed."

Based on Box's footage and interviews with the suspects, the statement said a detective determined the Millers were "tired of their neighbor, Aaron Howard, acting out and yelling and threatening them verbally," prompting them to bring out their firearms."

"As soon as (Howard) raised the bat while approximately seven or more feet away from John, John shot him," the statement said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 552117

Reported Deaths: 7073
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1149761676
Ramsey47562851
Dakota42219422
Anoka38230415
Washington24823273
Stearns20893218
St. Louis16688297
Scott15865117
Wright14700126
Olmsted1270397
Sherburne1052180
Carver974845
Clay780689
Rice7588101
Blue Earth693240
Kandiyohi626079
Crow Wing612186
Chisago546650
Otter Tail541373
Benton527997
Mower450032
Douglas440570
Goodhue440471
Winona437849
Nobles399448
Morrison392559
McLeod391554
Isanti373559
Beltrami371357
Itasca368352
Polk364467
Steele359914
Becker352048
Lyon347348
Carlton328152
Freeborn325529
Pine310321
Nicollet305342
Brown293839
Mille Lacs279550
Le Sueur268822
Todd267730
Cass248726
Meeker234137
Waseca230720
Martin212329
Wabasha19943
Roseau196318
Hubbard171241
Renville171243
Dodge17083
Redwood166035
Houston162414
Cottonwood156221
Fillmore15159
Pennington150619
Chippewa145236
Wadena143521
Faribault143319
Sibley135210
Kanabec129221
Aitkin128436
Watonwan12549
Rock122319
Jackson116810
Yellow Medicine110119
Pipestone109425
Murray10209
Pope10156
Swift99418
Marshall85517
Stevens81310
Lake78219
Clearwater77114
Wilkin76712
Koochiching76512
Lac qui Parle73522
Big Stone5594
Lincoln5572
Grant5478
Norman5229
Mahnomen4978
Unassigned48578
Kittson46422
Red Lake3887
Traverse3595
Lake of the Woods3053
Cook1440

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 357296

Reported Deaths: 5818
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk55892604
Linn20270329
Scott19017234
Black Hawk15532306
Woodbury14878221
Johnson1401781
Dubuque13127202
Dallas1088496
Pottawattamie10713162
Story1029847
Warren554486
Clinton536690
Cerro Gordo521386
Webster507791
Sioux505573
Marshall476974
Muscatine458996
Des Moines440765
Wapello4251120
Buena Vista421640
Jasper407670
Plymouth396979
Lee368155
Marion354475
Jones293055
Henry285937
Bremer279160
Carroll279051
Crawford262240
Boone257933
Benton249955
Washington249350
Dickinson241243
Mahaska224450
Jackson217842
Kossuth212562
Clay210325
Tama206671
Delaware202539
Winneshiek194033
Page190320
Buchanan188531
Cedar183923
Fayette182941
Wright180035
Hardin179542
Hamilton178049
Harrison175673
Clayton166855
Butler162534
Mills158320
Cherokee156938
Floyd155242
Lyon154541
Madison153719
Poweshiek152533
Allamakee149051
Iowa145324
Hancock143334
Winnebago135831
Grundy135032
Cass134354
Calhoun133211
Jefferson130535
Emmet128440
Shelby127537
Sac127019
Appanoose126647
Louisa126549
Mitchell125241
Union124032
Chickasaw122515
Humboldt118226
Guthrie117829
Franklin112521
Palo Alto110622
Howard102822
Montgomery100237
Unassigned10020
Clarke98123
Keokuk94430
Monroe93628
Ida89533
Adair84432
Pocahontas83421
Monona80930
Davis79924
Greene76510
Osceola75116
Lucas74922
Worth7088
Taylor65112
Fremont61210
Decatur5899
Van Buren55518
Ringgold53623
Wayne52123
Audubon4939
Adams3284
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 58°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Albert Lea
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 61°
Pleasant conditions for the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Byron baseball starts season strong

Image

Hayfield BB PKG

Image

Minnesota DNR offering virtual firearm safety classes for youth

Image

Aaron's Saturday Forecast (4/17/21)

Image

North Broadway Avenue project begins Monday

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (4/16/21)

Image

Mom hosting Prom

Image

Vaccines for manufacturing

Image

Countdown to the falcon eggs hatching

Image

Share the Love supports Ronald McDonald House

Community Events