“This is an example of taking the law into your own hands,” said a hearing officer
Four members of a Texas family have been charged with murder after they killed their neighbor in a case of mistaken identity.
According to a local report, 29-year-old Eddie Clark III was chased, cornered, and shot to death by four members of a family who thought he was the person responsible for vandalizing their home.
An ex-girlfriend of 19-year-old Joe Argueta and her friend had been vandalizing the home and cars of his mother, Florinda Argueta, and father, Luis Argueta and they plotted to attack the vandals. Along with an uncle, Margarito Alcantar, they were looking for a Dodge Charger.
It was the same vehicle driven by their neighbor who was unaffiliated with the dispute.
“This is an example of taking the law into your own hands,” a hearing officer told Joe Argueta in court on Wednesday. “Not going through the proper authorities to resolve any other harm or destruction that was being done to your own residence or your own home. It still doesn’t justify taking the law into your own hands and mistaking the person.”
A neighbor’s home security system captured some of the confrontations and shows Clark turning around and speeding down the street as he is chased by people on foot. He then crashes into a tree. The man escaped the vehicle and attempted to run away, but collapsed. He was later airlifted to a hospital where he died.
Joe Argueta, the 19-year-old, admitted to firing shots at the car. The son and his mother have both been arrested on felony murder charges. His father and uncle are on run with warrants issued for their arrest.
An original report notes that police had at least seven previous calls for service at the home with reports of tires cut, vehicles shot, and the residence shot.
Clark’s family told KTRK that they are mourning his loss.
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