Latest on Texas deputy: Lawyer says man had mental illness

AP News
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Posted: Aug 31, 2015 7:58 PM
Latest on Texas deputy: Lawyer says man had mental illness

HOUSTON (AP) — Here are the latest developments regarding the fatal shooting of a suburban Houston sheriff's deputy (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

A former attorney for the man accused of fatally shooting a suburban Houston officer says he was told the man had a lifelong history of mental illness.

Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder in the death of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth.

In 2012, Miles was found mentally incompetent after being charged following a fight at a homeless shelter where he was staying. He was later declared competent but the charge was dropped.

Jon Evans, Miles' attorney in the Austin case, says Miles' mother told him her son had a lifelong history of mental illness.

Evans said at the time of the case, Miles "suffered from severe mental illness."

But Evans says he can't further detail Miles' medical history due to privacy laws.

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6:20 p.m.

President Barack Obama is denouncing violence against police officers following the killing of a Houston-area sheriff's deputy who was ambushed at a gas station.

Obama spoke with Kathleen Goforth on Monday. Goforth's husband, Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth, was shot 15 times by a man authorities say had a history of mental illness.

The White House says Obama conveyed his condolences and told Goforth he'll keep highlighting the uncommon bravery of police officers.

Obama says Goforth's killing was contemptible and "an affront to civilized society."

Obama placed the call from Air Force One as he flew to Alaska.

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4 p.m.

A funeral for the suburban Houston sheriff's deputy who was shot 15 times and died at a gas station has been scheduled.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Monday that the funeral for Deputy Darren Goforth will take place Friday at 11 a.m. at Second Baptist Church in Houston.

Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder and is being held without bond.

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman said Saturday that the attack on the 10-year veteran was "clearly unprovoked," and there is no evidence that Goforth knew Miles.

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3:40 p.m.

A prosecutor says the man accused of fatally shooting a suburban Houston officer spent time in a mental hospital following a 2012 arrest.

Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder in the death of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth.

Miles' criminal history includes an arrest in 2012 following a fight at a homeless shelter he was staying at in Austin.

Joe Frederick, a prosecutor with the Travis County District Attorney's Office, says Miles was found to be mentally incompetent in October 2012 after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was sent to North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, Texas.

Frederick says Miles was declared competent in February 2013, but the charge was dropped against Miles after the victim could not be located.

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12:20 p.m.

A Houston police officer who grew up with the deputy who was ambushed and killed at a gas station over the weekend says his childhood friend was a "simple guy" and focused on providing for his family.

Roland De Los Santos said Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was "down to earth," and had two kids with his wife, a 12-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son.

De Los Santos said that Goforth was a Harris County jailer for several years before moving to patrol about five years ago.

Goforth was fatally shot Friday night at a gas station in suburban Houston. Thirty-year-old Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder.

De Los Santos echoed authorities' comments over the weekend that Goforth was killed because he wore a uniform.

He said "there's a lot of anger and hatred toward police," and that the death was "a direct result of the things that are being said."

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12:05 p.m.

One of the defense attorneys for the man charged with capital murder in the fatal shooting of a suburban Houston deputy says his client intends to plead not guilty.

Defense attorney Anthony Osso (OH'-soh) said Shannon J. Miles "indicated to the investigating officers that he was not involved in the case."

He also said the only thing linking Miles to Friday's shooting of Harris County Sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth is the handgun. Osso said the defense will have an independent ballistics test done.

Osso said he and attorney Charles Brown were appointed Monday and have had only a general conversation with Miles.

Osso said he is aware of the comments made by the county sheriff and district attorney regarding tensions between law enforcement and civilians, but did not want to comment.

He said it is "difficult enough to handle these types of cases" and that "we can't let people try to make it a political issue."

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11:10 a.m.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered Texas flags in Harris County and at the Capitol to be lowered to half-staff to honor the Houston-area deputy who was killed over the weekend.

Harris County sheriff's Deputy Darren Goforth was fatally shot Friday night in an unprovoked attack while refueling his patrol car at a gas station.

Shannon J. Miles, of Houston, is charged with capital murder.

Abbott said in a statement Monday that Texas has sustained a "deliberate and heinous crime" against a law enforcement officer in Harris County.

The governor says Texas residents revere the men and women in law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect and service their communities.

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10:50 a.m.

Authorities say a suburban Houston police officer who was ambushed at a gas station was shot 15 times.

Shannon J. Miles appeared briefly in state District Court on Monday. He is being held without bond and was appointed two attorneys.

Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Deputy Darren Goforth was shot 15 times and the shell casings match the handgun that was found at Miles' home. She also said a witness saw the shooting.

Goforth, a 10-year veteran, was pumping gas about 8:20 p.m. Friday when he was ambushed and fatally shot. He died at the gas station in Cypress.

Anderson would not comment to reporters after the hearing regarding a motive.