Attorney for alleged cop killer questions capital murder charge

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Shannon Miles' court-appointed lawyer says Deputy Darren Goforth was not acting as a deputy, when he was shot and killed at a gas station. 

“I believe he was not there pumping gas,” said court-appointed attorney Anthony Osso,  “I believe that he went there to meet this young lady, for that purpose.”  Osso called it a “serious defensive issue.” 

Osso plans to argue that the capital murder charge against his client, Shannon Miles, should be downgraded, because a woman who had a relationship with the deputy was at the gas station when Goforth was fatally shot, 15 times. 

“He was there meeting this young lady,” he said, “from my client's perspective, this would no longer be a capital murder but it would be a murder,” he said. 

The attorney does not dispute the fact that Goforth was in uniform, and arrived in his marked unit.  He also made it clear that the woman at the scene has no known ties to the crime, or to the defendant.

“There is nothing, so far in my investigation, or the D.A.'s investigation, that I am aware of, that suggests that was the case.”

There has not been a case, in Texas, in which capital murder charges were changed to murder, in the killing of a peace officer, with the exception of a case in which the officer was committing a crime.  So, if the argument succeeds, it would be a precedent-setting case. 

The Harris County Deputy’s Organization says the capital murder charge is warranted, without question.  Union Vice president Eric Batton said, "As long as his client knew that he was a peace officer, anything else is a shameful reach to try to prove that it was not capital murder."