Man appears in court after innocent woman killed during dispute

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man accused of killing an innocent woman while fighting with his wife tried to pretend he didn't know what happened, witnesses say.

The accused shooter, James Hickam, 58, is charged with murder and made his first court appearance Friday morning.

According to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Hickam and his wife had been fighting all day Thursday at the Windfern Meadows Apartments in northwest Harris County.

The argument ended up in the parking lot around 2 p.m. Investigators believe Hickam first shot his wife and then turned around and shot Krystle Watson, a mother, who was sitting in her car with her child.

"(The woman) was arriving, unrelated to the disturbance that was going on and just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, unfortunately," said Sheriff Gonzalez at the scene. "That female, now deceased, was not a party to the disturbance."

Court officials said a witness who heard the first gunshot looked out her window and reportedly saw Hickam holding a shotgun and firing it at Watson's car.

In the aftermath, witnesses say Hickam was seen in the crowd asking, "Where's my wife? What happened to my wife?"

Officers got a search warrant and reportedly found the shotgun in his home.

Hickam's wife was wounded and taken to a hospital. Sheriff Gonzalez said she is expected to survive.

Hickam's bond was set at $100,000 for the murder charge. He requested a court-appointed lawyer.

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