Jan. 1 shooting trial set for August
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
The man accused of the New Year's Day shooting death outside a Cape Girardeau after-hours club will be tried for second-degree murder and armed criminal action Aug. 19 and 20 in Scott County on a change of venue.
Samuel M. Houston, 21, of Thebes, Ill., appeared in court Monday along with public defender Jason Tilley for a pretrial conference with Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.
Swingle told Judge John Heisserer that he is prepared to take depositions in the case next week.
Houston is accused of shooting Anton Shamon Miller, 25, of Cape Girardeau in the back while Miller and Houston's brother, Shamir, were fighting outside the Taste in the early hours of Jan. 1.
According to the probable-cause affidavit filed at the time, Shamir Houston was in the Taste picking a fight with Miller. Taste owner Patrick Buck threw Houston out, but Miller followed him outside and began fighting. After the fight subsided, Miller got into a fight with another person, which Buck broke up. The affidavit said Shamir Houston then "sucker punched" Miller, starting their fight again. While Miller had Shamir Houston on the ground, hitting him, Samuel Houston allegedly walked over and shot Miller in the back.
Shamir Houston, 22, of Cape Girardeau was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and was placed into the custody of the Mississippi County sheriff on a change of venue.
Swingle later dismissed state charges against him when federal authorities indicated, after a grand jury hearing, that they would file charges against him for being a felon in possession of a firearm, which carries mandatory prison time more severe than anything he would get in circuit court, Swingle said. Shamir Houston's parole was revoked, and he is back in the Department of Corrections, where he will stay until he appears in federal court. Swingle said the federal indictment has been issued, but he does not know when Shamir Houston will appear in court.
As a result of community response to the incident, Buck shut down his after-hours business.
335-6611, extension 160