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Shannon J. Miles is charged with capital murder in the shooting

By Tara Fowler
Updated September 01, 2015 11:35 AM
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Credit: Pat Sullivan/AP

Shannon J. Miles, the 30-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a Texas sheriff’s deputy at a gas station last week, has a history of mental illness, according to his former lawyer.

In 2012, Miles was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he got into a fight over a remote control at a homeless shelter, the Associated Press reports. But he was found to be mentally incompetent and sent to a hospital for evaluation.

Miles’ attorney in that case, Jon Evans, told the AP that his client’s mother admitted to him that her son had struggled with mental illness his entire life. Court documents obtained by the AP show that Miles was ordered to be committed for evaluation in the 2012 case.

He was freed after the charge was dropped against him when Miles’ alleged victim could not be located.

Deputy Darren Goforth was fueling his vehicle in uniform when he was shot from behind at a gas station in northwest Harris Country, Texas, at about 8:30 p.m. on Friday night.

After the officer fell, Miles allegedly approached him and emptied his gun into the deputy, firing 15 rounds. He is charged with capital murder in the shooting.

But Miles’ mother has insisted that her son is innocent in this case because they were shopping together at the time of the killing.

“We got back, we couldn’t get on our street,” she told KPRC. “So after we couldn’t get on our street, when we came back, the back way to our house, and then that’s when we [were] faced with SWAT and dogs and cops and guns and they handcuffed him.”

Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman previously pointed at the “Black Lives Matter” movement as a possible motive in the shooting, saying that “dangerous rhetoric” is putting officers’ lives at risk.

“We’ve heard black lives matter – all lives matter,” Hickman said.

Miles has an extensive criminal history dating back to 2005, including convictions for disorderly conduct with a firearm, criminal mischief, giving false information to police and resisting arrest. Records show he received several short jail sentences, from six to 10 days, according to the AP.

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