Jurors weigh probation for Houston man convicted in 2018 shooting

Charlyne Moaning has argued for jurors to give her 80-year-old husband Frank Moaning probation after convicting him of criminally negligent homicide in a March 2018 gas station shooting.

She testified that Moaning woke up in tears some nights. His bedside angst has followed in the years since he fatally shot a 22-year-old man, whom he knew and had given barbecue plates to in the past. But what she didn’t know was who would look after her if her 56-year-old octogenarian husband was incarcerated.

“It was a hardship for me,” she said, reflecting on the impact Moaning’s criminal case had on her life. “I try to be a Christian, but even then it’s something you wouldn’t know if you weren’t in my shoes. I’m 79 and he’s 80 – who would have thought? Not me.”

Jurors passed each other a box of tissues after she left the witness box.

The verdict followed two days of emotional testimony and about four hours of deliberations in which jurors could not agree on the Vietnam veteran’s conviction for murder. Criminally negligent homicide was decided instead in the death of Tamaurick Hickmon. Punishment is expected later Friday.

Moaning shot and killed Hickmon outside a gas station in the 8100 block of Martin Luther King Boulevard where he had previously purchased a lottery ticket. This run, a few blocks from his South Park home, led to a fight with other patrons — many of whom often referred to him as “Mr. Frank” – when Moaning tried to stop a woman from buying alcohol because she had her child in the car.

An exchange of words between Moaning and the woman escalated into pushing and slapping. At one point she spat on him and hit him near his pacemaker, he testified.

Hickmon joined the fight by punching Moaning three times in the head while his back was turned, an attack that likely caused bruising and swelling to his head. Photos of these injuries were shown in court. A Houston Police Department detective testified during the trial that videos of the altercation showed the woman also escalated the violence.

Moaning left the gas station in his van and returned about 30 minutes later with a shotgun that belonged to his father. He thought Hickmon had threatened him and he needed to protect himself.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN HOUSTON: Another victim identified in a mass shooting at a housing complex.

“You have to take such a threat seriously,” Moaning said in court.

He testified that he had never fired the gun before and did not know if it would work. The video shows him taking a firing position and opening fire as Hickmon tried to get away.

“I tried to shoot him in the butt,” Moaning said.

Hickmon was struck and died at the scene. Moaning then returned to the scene and turned around.

Age is no defense

Moaning stood still, arms folded, as prosecutors and defense attorneys huddled together after the verdict to discuss sentencing ranges. His wife sat alone in the courtroom. The minimum sentence for a murder charge is five years and two years for a criminally negligent homicide if a deadly weapon is used. The jury may consider probation for Moaning, who until the murder had no violent criminal history.

Further turmoil unfolded when the court asked where Moaning would spend the night: at home with his wife or in jail – where 1% of inmates are 65 or older, according to county records.

Moaning left the courtroom with his wife for the night and rode up to the elevators in his walker when it was realized that prosecutors had decided to revoke his bond. Judge Danilo Lacayo of the 182nd District Court approved the request.

Moaning’s defense attorney, Justin Keiter, rushed to lead his client back into the courtroom where a debate erupted over whether the dismissal was necessary. Moaning worried about how his wife, unable to drive, would get home.

“I don’t show people special treatment,” Lacayo told the defense attorney.

Lacayo eventually agreed to allow a surety on bail to enter and exit the jail with Moaning that night on $30,000 bond – 10% of which would have to be prepaid due to the violent nature of the prison. offense.

Keiter expressed serious concern that Moaning, out on bail since April 2018, would not have access to the drugs he needs in prison. The accused’s age was mentioned sparingly throughout the trial. He has had a pacemaker since 2017, according to reports.

“The defendant is an older man – we can all see that,” prosecutor Carlos Aguayo told jurors during closing arguments. “But being old is no defense against murder.”

PRISON SENTENCE FOR AN INSURER: A Seabrook man gets 4 months in prison for participating in the January 6 uprising.

“You Hit Them Hard”

Moaning had a chance to defend himself on the witness stand.

Lacayo often told Moaning to slow down and stop wandering as he recalled harrowing memories as a Vietnam War draftee. He served in the US Army until 1968. During this time he saw no combat but claimed to have witnessed violence against children after a bombing, he testified.

He revealed to HPD detectives after his arrest that he was on medication linked to a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from his wartime experience. A defense medical expert said Moaning was granted disability for his PTSD and argued he may have suffered a concussion during the gas station storming, leading to a possible comeback back which contributed to the shooting.

The jurors did not hear the medical expert’s testimony until after the verdict.

“He hit me on the head. I had a big knot,” Moaning testified, referring to his wartime experience at the time. “They taught us that when the enemy hits you, you hit them hard.”

Aguayo called back to Moaning after his remark that he had not participated in the fight.

Moaning’s interview with a detective after the shooting was played out in court. He referenced his head injury – which the detective said he hadn’t noticed – and said he felt dizzy.

“I have a headache from this badboy here,” Moaning said.

The detective testified that he thought Moaning seemed consistent at the time and could make sound decisions.

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING ARRESTS: Second suspect arrested in the death of an 8-year-old boy.

Keiter criticized law enforcement for their lack of attention to the case.

No witnesses in the surveillance footage were called to testify, although at least five people were present at the time of the shooting. A gas station employee who recorded the initial scuffle on his phone was the first witness. Moaning’s interview with detectives lasted about 30 minutes, Keiter said, and he checked to see if his client’s Miranda rights had been read correctly.

He also pointed to the policeman in a cruiser who failed to stop at the gas station and investigated further amid the scuffle. The vehicle can be seen stopping in the street and continuing to drive, according to surveillance footage.

The gas station clerk testified that police are slow to respond to emergency calls to the store and that he quit his job later that year due to the dangers.

[email protected]

Comments are closed.