Girl finds mother shot to death in southwest Houston; Victim's husband charged in her murder

Police say a young girl was awakened as her mother was killed. The child's father was in police custody Sunday
December 9, 2013 4:10:10 AM PST
Police say a young girl was awakened as her mother was killed. The victim's husband and the child's father was in police custody Sunday, accused in the murder.

Police arrested Lance Hilton, 45, sometime Sunday morning. He's charged murder for in shooting death of his wife, Marian Hilton, 48.

In the early morning hours Saturday, the 15900 block of Ridgerock near Krause -- a quiet street in southwest Houston ? was transformed into a crime scene.

"They just seemed like a very nice family. Very shocking to find out," neighbor Mark Gonzalez said.

Investigators say Lance Hilton and his wife got into an argument in their home around 10:30pm Friday.

They say the couple's daughter woke up and saw her father standing over her mother, holding a gun.

When officers arrived, they found Marian Hilton dead with a gunshot wound to the head, and her husband was nowhere to be found.

Police began their search, asking for anyone with information on his whereabouts to give them a call. Soon, they got a lead.

A woman, who asked that we not identify her, says she and her sister saw the suspect Saturday night -- hours after he disappeared.

"He climbed out of the window. He fell onto the ground, and he started crawling really slow," the woman said.

She took a photo of the pickup he was driving, and the image shows Lance Hilton lying in the middle of the road. The woman was soon on the phone with a police dispatcher.

"I said, 'He's saying I didn't mean to kill her,'" the witness told us. "And she said, 'Kill who?' And I said, 'I don't know.'"

She says her sister handed her Lance Hilton's wallet, and she read the dispatcher his name.

"He kept saying, 'Shoot me; run me over,'" the woman said.

When officers arrived, the witness saw them handcuff the suspect, and he eventually left in the back of an ambulance. She didn't hear what he was accused of until Sunday morning.

"It's a scary situation to actually be that close to someone who took somebody's life," the witness said.

Neighbors say the Hiltons' daughter appears to be about 10 years old. Family members stopped by the home throughout the day Saturday, shocked by what happened. They didn't want to talk on camera, but said there was no sign of any trouble within the family.

"They seemed to be a perfectly normal family," Gonzalez said.

But it's a family now violently torn apart, and an innocent child is caught in the middle of it all.

"She's going to have to face this, this time of year for the rest of her life, and I can't imagine that," Gonzalez said.

The girl is staying with relatives for now.

Find Simon on Facebook at ABC13SimonGutierrez or on Twitter at @sggutierrez

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