Authorities to consider upgraded charges

May 10, 2009 7:14:56 PM PDT
Authorities in Liberty County were expected to meet Monday to decide whether to upgrade the charges against a husband and wife following the death of one of four people shot while off-roading on their property. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Liberty County Sheriff's Cpl. Hugh Bishop on Sunday told The Associated Press that investigators will meet with District Attorney Mike Little to discuss whether to change the aggravated assault charge Gale and Sheila Muhs are being held on because of the death of 7-year-old Donald Coffey Jr.

The boy died Saturday morning at a Houston hospital, less than two days after he was shot along with his father, his 5-year-old sister and a family friend while off-roading on the Muhs' property.

The group was off-roading about 40 miles northeast of Houston late Thursday when they were blasted by shotgun pellets after stopping their vehicles so the children could go to the bathroom.

The condition of Patrick Cammack, 30, who underwent surgery after being shot in the head, was upgraded from serious to good Sunday, according to a spokeswoman for the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. Donald Coffey Sr. -- who had a pellet wound in his right shoulder and his daughter, Destiny, were treated and released. Destiny was hit in the elbow.

The Muhs, both 45, remained in the Liberty County Jail Sunday. Bond has been set at $25,000 for each. There is no record of an attorney for the couple, a jail spokeswoman said.

Cammack's wife, Cindy Nelton, told the Houston Chronicle that the shooting occurred over two or three minutes in "pitch darkness."

Nelton said she was driving one of two vehicles at the scene when she heard a woman's voice deliver an expletive-laden order to get off the property.

"And then I heard a shot and our windows were blown out," she said.

Nelton said she stepped on the gas and screamed, "We've got kids in this vehicle! Y'all need to stop shooting!"

The suspects live in a small house on stilts with a rebel flag flying from the roof. A sign posted out front reads: "Trespassers will be shot. Survivors (sic) will be reshot!! Smile I will."

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