A Southeast Texas couple accused in the death of a 7-year-old boy after opening fire on his family has been indicted on a charge of murder.
Gayle Eugene and Sheila Muhs were being held at the Liberty County Jail on Friday. The 45-year-olds are accused in the fatal shooting last month of 7-year-old Donald Coffey Jr.
The boy died two days after his family was shot at while driving in front of the Muhses' Westlake area house.
Investigators say the victims were returning from an outing along the Trinity River when the Muhses took turns shooting their 12-gauge shotgun at them.
The Houston Chronicle reports Donald Jr. was shot in the head. His 5-year-old sister Destiny and her father had pellet wounds. Family friend Patrick Cammack, 30, was wounded in the neck.
The Muhses also face seven counts of attempted murder connected to the shooting.
In the initial story the family was said to have been trespassing on the Muhs' property. I didn't have the impression they were in a vehicle but pictured them on foot, not that it makes much difference.
One comment to the Houston Chronicle story struck me.
These two are sick and disgusting and need to be put out of their misery. I hope they both fry.
I wouldn't go that far. For me life in prison would be the appropriate sentence. But, the case brings up some troubling issues, not the least of which is the whole concept of owning guns for self protection. Are these people really such an anomaly? Are they really so rare among gun owners? The pro-gun crowd is quick to say that, always backing their claims up with statistics enough to make your head spin.
My idea is it's not so rare. In fact, many of these situations go under the heading of legitimate defensive gun incidents, e.g. Ladon Jones. The circumstances of this case were so dramatic however, that no one could possibly justify what happened.
What's your opinion? Do you think the ever-growing gun movement in America is contributing to these situations? Isn't there an unspoken attitude among the gun people that says, "if you get in my way, I'll shoot your ass?"
Now before objecting to that characterization, let me explain. By "get in my way," we all agree that lethal threat qualifies. Then there's a slightly lesser form, which is difficult to differentiate from lethal threat, which is the threat of bodily harm or rape. No one denies that this qualifies as "getting in my way." But then you've got the even milder forms of aggression that are easily distinguishable from lethal threat and threat of bodily harm, which are sometimes met with bullets. Many of them are lumped in with the first two categories. And finally, you've got the supposedly rare cases like the Muhses. These are people who respond with guns where there was no threat or aggression whatsoever.
What do you think? Are the Muhses such a rare breed that we should not worry about it? Or are they a force to be reckoned with.
Please leave a comment.