Texas father and son allegedly killed neighbor over mattress in trash bin

John & Michael Miller

John & Michael Miller

A father and son gunned down their neighbor in an alley behind their Texas homes during an argument over trash - and the victim's fiancée recorded the slaying on video.

The Sept. 1 standoff between the neighbors, which ended in the fatal shooting, was the final argument in a days-long feud over trash disposal, said Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge, speaking at a news conference about an hour after the incident.

John Miller, 67, and Michael Miller, 31, have both been charged with murder and freed on $25,000 bond. Behind him, Michael Miller has a shotgun in his right hand and is resting it on his shoulder, behind his head. The men are seen opening fire as the video abruptly ends.

Her video captured the sound of the pistol fire but not any images of Johnnie Miller shooting.

Howard was killed in front of his brother and his common-law wife, Kara Box, who recorded the encounter on her cellphone. You can see the video Box taped below.

The dispute began between John Miller and Howard, at which point Michael Miller allegedly went inside to retrieve a shotgun. Police said someone went inside Howard's home and got a baseball bat. Howard, who appears unarmed, asks Box, before turning back to the Millers.

"He [Howard] didn't even swing it, he threw it over both of their heads and it landed behind them in the alley", Box told KTXS.

Box starts screaming, "No, no, Aaron!" after her husband is shot in the chest and head.

"Back off. If you come closer to me, I'm gonna kill you", John Miller says calmly. Following that, Box said, John Miller pulled "a pistol out of his shorts".

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"Hey, you hear him say he's gonna kill me?"

Box told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram that John Miller took a mattress Howard placed in a dumpster in the nearby alleyway out of the dumpster, and threw it on Howard's property.

"Oh yeah, you're going to jail", Howard can be heard saying in the video. The police arrived soon after and the Millers were arrested.

On the morning of September 1, Box and Howard were in the backyard when they saw the mattress was on their property. John Miller was apparently armed when he went to take out trash Saturday morning, and Michael Miller went back into the house to get a shotgun after the argument broke out. That's when they fired. That mattress, Box told the Star-Telegram, was the conflict's catalyst. The couple was together for two years and were engaged to be married.

Taylor County DA Jim Hicks said the video could be key evidence.

"Video evidence like this is always graphic and very hard to watch, but it is consistent with the charges", said district attorney Jim Hicks.

The father and son have been charged with first-degree murder.

"People deserve to know what actually happened, and, you know, they deserve to know John and Michael Miller are murderers", Box said.

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