Suspect who stole appliances dead after leading authorities on chase

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Vehicular Crimes investigators filed a felony murder charge against a 57-year-old man who, along with a passenger, was said to have been trying to make a getaway after stealing appliances from a subdivision home under construction.

Michael Shelton is alleged to have been the driver of the truck, and ran a red light on Cypresswood and FM 1960 Saturday morning.

His truck hit another vehicle, injuring two people inside it. Shelton's passenger was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The debris on the roadway after the crash included the stolen refrigerator and microwave oven.

According to Sean Teare with the District Attorney's Vehicular Crimes Division, a construction worker in the new subdivision saw the men carrying the appliances out of the house.

That worker contacted the builder, who said no one had permission to remove appliances from the house. The worker followed the truck, and the suspects realized they were being followed.

"That's when he (Shelton) ran the red light," Teare said. "Because the wreck happened in the commission of another crime, which was theft, a felony murder charge was accepted."

The intersection remained closed for several hours while the crash scene was processed, causing a major traffic backup. The affected part of 1960 reopened by mid-afternoon.

The name of the deceased passenger has not been released at this time.

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