Boy testifies that an Arlington neighbor killed his father and also shot at him

Posted Friday, Jun. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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An 11-year-old boy testified Wednesday that during an argument about a dog, he heard his father call out to an angry neighbor, “If you’re going to shoot me, then shoot me.”

The neighbor, Franklin Hudson, went inside, came back with a gun and started firing, Jordan Haney said.

And when Jordan started to run toward his wounded father, Hudson kept firing.

“I tried to go back, but [Hudson] started shooting at me,” Jordan Haney testified.

Hudson, 67, is charged with murder in the death of Jordan’s father, Arlington Haney III, who was killed on May 8, 2012, outside Hudson’s house in the 2400 block of Redbrook Court in Arlington.

Hudson is also charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is accused of shooting at Jordan, his mother and a family friend. The maximum sentence is 99 years in prison.

Jordan Haney told jurors that he was riding his bicycle in the street that evening while his father walked the family’s three dogs. Chloe, a Shih Tzu, was off her leash and ran through the open door of Hudson’s house. Chloe was immediately shooed back outside, Jordan Haney said.

Hudson came out to argue with Arlington Haney, who soon threw up a hand and walked away, saying that he was going to have to “whip that old man,” Jordan Haney said.

While still walking away, Jordan Haney testified, his father said to Hudson, “If you’re going to shoot me, then shoot me.”

Hudson went inside, came back out with a gun and started firing, hitting Haney nine times — five in the front and four in the back, according to prosecutor Sheila Wynn.

State District Judge Scott Wisch paused testimony at that point as Jordan Haney cried.

During her opening statement, Hudson’s attorney, Emily LaChance, said her client was retired and took great pride in his yard in the 2400 block of Redbrook Court. Hudson also aspired to make the neighborhood one of Arlington’s safest, but was growing concerned as he saw more short-time visitors and more guns, LaChance said.

Hudson bought a gun because, “he became afraid of living in his own neighborhood,” LaChance said.

On the day of the shooting, Hudson walked outside to check on his vehicles and saw Haney walking his dogs, LaChance told the jury. Hudson had complained to other neighbors about their dogs soiling his yard and children hitting baseballs near his windows, LaChance said.

But that day, Hudson wanted to talk to Haney and make peace, LaChance said.

“He decided that he would tell them that he’d like to put an end to all of this tension,” LaChance said. “Haney rudely refused.”

After Chloe ran into Hudson’s house and was removed, Haney and Hudson began to argue, LaChance said. Haney defiantly charged up the driveway, causing Hudson to fear for his life, LaChance said. Hudson pulled a gun and fired, LaChance said.

The front door at Hudson’s house was locked, and he saw two people running around in his yard, LaChance said.

“Not knowing what they were going to do, Hudson shoots in the air,” LaChance said.

But a family friend who was fired upon, Raphael Pitts, testified that he tried to help Haney but was chased away by gunfire. Using bushes and parked vehicles for cover, Pitts testified that he bent down low and approached Haney’s body, sprawled across the sidewalk.

Pitts testified that he said, “Squeaky, say something,” but his friend did not move.

Hudson “was about 15 feet away. I started running backwards. I didn’t even turn around,” Pitts said. “The gun is pointed directly at my face. He was looking right at me when he fired. He maybe fired three or four times when I fell in the street. I’m yelling at [Haney’s wife] and the boy to get back in the house.”

Testimony is scheduled to continue today.

Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3

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