MYFOXHOUSTON - Anthony Osso is a lawyer with a huge task ahead: defending Shannon Miles, the man who prosecutors say walked up behind deputy Darren Goforth, and shot him multiple times. Osso acquired the case when the court appointed him to represent Miles, who he said, has not confessed to the killing.
“My client has made no admissions that he was involved in this shooting,” he said.
He acknowledges the case is loaded with evidence that makes miles look guilty. His take on it is guaranteed to be unpopular with the grieving public.
He asks this question, “ A guilty person who's thinking normally is going to pull his truck a half a mile from this crime scene with thousands of police officers looking for it...okay? “ He added “Oh, and I think I'll just put this gun in the garage.
Osso says Miles was moved to a different Harris County Jail facility, for what he calls "mental health observations."
“We want him to be in a position where he gets treatment if he needs it,” he said. He made it clear he believes his client has a history of serious mental illness: “I am sure paranoia, schizophrenia, are going to probably play into some of his past treatments.”
Shannon Miles was committed to a mental health facility in 2010. Two years later, he was sent to Vernon State Hospital, after prosecutors in Travis County say he beat a man, almost to death, in Austin, at a Salvation Army where Miles was a resident. “That's the only instance of violence that I'm aware of,” says Osso.
Miles was charged with aggravated assault, and initially found “incompetent” to stand trial. After hospitalization, he was found "competent."
Osso rejects the conclusion, saying there was an agenda to render Miles competent, temporarily, using medications.
“Let's give him the drugs he needs, okay, and then he appears to be competent,” said Osso, who claims Miles ended up back on the streets, after being discharged.
That case was dropped when the victim couldn't be located. but as Harris County prosecutors prepare for this capital murder trial, Travis County prosecutors say the 2012 assault case is still open, and they have leads on the victim's whereabouts.Osso is ready for that.
“I anticipate the State of Texas will put that evidence on in the punishment phase of their trial, and I'm going to be prepared to rebut it.” he said.
That’s a statement likely to upset a lot of people who are focused on a deputy who was mercilessly gunned down, while getting gas, and who are thirsty for justice.