HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A Houston teenager has been charged with murder, now accused of intentionally hitting and killing a man with his car.
18-year-old Max Knupple told cops a man walking on the sidewalk on Uvalde on January 6th threw a rock at his windshield. When he stopped in a church parking lot to call 9-1-1, the rock-throwing man was "swinging his arms and screaming as if he was drunk," and he “panicked,” said Knupple in court documents.
He claims he didn't realize he hit 36-year-old Joshua Boatman until he crashed his Mustang into a ditch.
Knupple's female passenger gave police a slightly different story on the scene, saying the "pedestrian came running at them and Maxwell Knupple started to drive away because he was scared." That's when the man "jumped on the hood of their car," she said.
Police say surveillance video from a nearby business contradicts those accounts. The video allegedly shows two cars -- Knupple's Mustang and a friend's car -- stop on Uvalde. A person gets out of the Mustang and runs to the other car. That other car then enters the parking lot driving towards the pedestrian "in what appears to be an attempt to scare or hit him," according to court documents.
According to court documents, Knupple's car then does the same. The video allegedly shows the Mustang turning the direction the man was moving -- first right, then left -- "as the man attempts to dodge the vehicle and the vehicle cuts left, striking Boatman," who later died at a hospital. "I don't believe he would ever intentionally hurt anyone driving like that, no, I don't. I don't think he would," said Andrea Knupple, the suspect’s mother, on January 7th.
We interviewed the suspect's mother, the owner of the Mustang, just hours after the incident last week, before her son was charged with murder.
"As a mother, I want whatever is right, no partial to my son. I love my son, but no matter what happened if it was any wrongdoing on his part, then I want justice just like anyone else okay," she said.
Knupple claimed he stopped in the parking lot and didn’t make any turns until his car landed in the ditch. The video allegedly shows otherwise. In addition, the Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office found Boatman’s injuries were not consistent with him throwing himself onto a car.
Knupple has been released on $50,000 bond and is scheduled to be in court January 20th.