Arlington man who killed neighbor after spat over dog awaits fate

Posted Thursday, Jun. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A murder suspect who claimed self-defense after fatally shooting his neighbor was described by prosecutors as enraged when he shot the unarmed man.

Franklin Hudson, 67, of Arlington did not like his neighbor’s loud truck, his dogs defecating in his yard or his neighbors’ children playing with footballs, basketballs or baseballs near his house, prosecutor Elizabeth Beach said Wednesday during closing arguments.

“The defendant was a brooding, angry man, sitting alone in that window watching his neighbors with a loaded gun,” Beach said. “He observed things that set him off while his anger grew, and grew and grew.”

Hudson was arrested after shooting Arlington Haney nine times after they argued about Haney’s unleashed Shih Tzu, Chloe. Three rounds from Hudson’s gun entered Haney’s back, according to testimony from Nizam Peerwani, Tarrant County medical examiner.

In addition to the murder charge, Hudson faces three aggravated assault charges accusing him of shooting at Haney’s son, wife and another neighbor as they tried to help the fatally wounded man. If convicted, Haney could receive a 99-year prison sentence.

Michael Schneider, Hudson’s defense attorney, told jurors that he hoped they never have to use a gun to defend their life, loved ones or property.

“If you do ever have to use your firearm in self-defense you shoot and keep shooting until there is no longer a threat, and then hope you get a reasonable jury,” Schneider said.

Haney was trying to pick a fight with the defendant, Schneider said. The shooting began after Haney’s dog ran into Hudson’s house, according to testimony. Hudson testified Wednesday that after Haney retrieved his dog, he told him to leave and never set foot on his property again.

Hudson told the jury that Haney ignored the warning and that he believed Haney was carrying a handgun when he came back on his property.

At more than 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds, Haney charged up Hudson’s driveway threatening to beat Hudson, who was frightened, Schneider said. Hudson shot at Haney four or five times at point-blank range and missed, Schneider said during closing statements. Then Haney popped out from behind a bush and surprised Hudson, Schneider said.

“If Haney is charging up the driveway cussin’, how long does Hudson have to wait before taking action?” Schneider asked. “Does he have to take a butt whippin’? Is that what the law in this state says?”

Schneider said Hudson never shot at Haney’s 10-year-old son, Jordan. Jordan testified June 20 that he ran back to his father as the man bled in the street from gunshot wounds.

Schneider said Hudson shot toward Haney’s wife, Shameka, and his friend Rafael Pitts because he was afraid.

“People are rushing to a shooting scene and he’s just had to shoot a man,” Schneider said. “He’s afraid they are coming to take revenge on him.”

But prosecutor Sheila Wynn said Haney did not pose a threat to Hudson. Haney had not made it past the mailbox when Hudson started shooting and was in retreat when he died on a sidewalk in front of another neighbor’s house, Wynn said. Haney was not armed and was shot while he was down on one or both knees, Wynn said.

No one that Hudson shot at was armed, Wynn said.

“There’s no way these wounds occurred as he [Haney] was charging up a driveway,” Wynn told the jury. “Those shots entered at an angle and were fired at him while he was retreating. The defendant said he shot him while he was down on one knee.”

The jury recessed late Wednesday and will return today to resume deliberations in state District Judge Scott Wisch’s court.

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

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