Couple may face more charges after boy dies

May 9, 2009 4:43:07 PM PDT
A 7-year-old boy who was shot inside an SUV has died and now charges could be upgraded against the suspected shooters. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The young boy was among four people shot. Deputies said the suspects believed the victims were on their property. It happened Thursday night, south of Liberty.

Donald Coffee, Jr., 7, passed away early Saturday morning with his family by his side. At the family's home, neighbors left cards and condolences.

It was Thursday when authorities received a 911 call from Sheila Muhs, who said that she had shot someone that was trespassing on a levee adjacent to her home. When authorities investigated, they determined four people had been shot, including two children.

The victims were Donald Coffee, Sr., 40, his son, Donald Jr., his daughter, Destiny Coffee, 5, and a family friend, Patrick Cammack, 30. The other three victims are expected to be OK.

Police arrested Sheila Muhs as well as her husband, Gayle Muhs. They suspect Sheila fired one round then handed over the gun to her husband who fired a second round.

Although the couple contends trespassing, authorities are still trying to determine property lines at the home.

The family told investigators they had simply stopped on the road to allow their children to relieve themselves after a family outing.

"He always done everything with these kids. These kids were his life. For them to be torn apart like this? they didn't deserve this," said neighbor Linda Martin.

Colonel Hugh Bishop of the Liberty County Sheriff's Office said, "We'll talk with the DA Monday morning. All the factors that go into it and the mindset have to be determined. If it warrants moving up a notch and calling it a murder charge, then they're definitely going to do that."

The couple is still in custody, charged with aggravated assault. The Muhs bond has been set at $25,000 each.

According to Texas law, a person must know he or she is not allowed on property for it to be considered criminal trespassing. It is illegal for someone to enter in or remain on a property or building without the owner's consent.

Also, the suspected trespasser must know the entry was forbidden or receive notice to leave. It becomes criminal when they don't leave.

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