Friend: deputy threatened Houstons before fatal shootout

Friend: deputy threatened Houstons before fatal shootout

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Leon Houston in court Leon Houston in court
"He took his right hand and he patted his gun and he said, 'If you see Rocky Houston, Townsend, you tell him that I have something for him," Randall Townsend testified. "He took his right hand and he patted his gun and he said, 'If you see Rocky Houston, Townsend, you tell him that I have something for him," Randall Townsend testified.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) -- A man who testified on behalf of Leon Houston Monday during his murder trial said a deputy looking for Leon and his brother patted his gun and he said he had something for them just three hours before the deputy and his ride-along partner were  gunned down instead.

Although the prosecution is still presenting its case, the defense was allowed to call the witness named Randall Townsend Monday morning because he's about to start treatment for cancer.

Townsend, who lives near the Houston brothers, testified that Deputy Bill Jones drove by Townsend's home asking if he'd seen Rocky or Leon Houston.

Townsend testified that he told the deputy he hadn't seen the brothers and the deputy accused him of not being willing to say where they were even if he knew.

Townsend denied this. Then he said, "He took his right hand and he patted his gun and he said, 'If you see Rocky Houston, Townsend, you tell him that I have something for him."

The prosecution brought to light that Townsend has previously plead guilty to using a stolen credit card.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ballistics expert Agent Daniel Royse continued his testimony Monday as well, saying a loaded shotgun in a slain deputy's cruiser was never used.

Agent Royse showed the jury photos taken at the shooting scene. Deputy Jones was still in the cruiser while Brown's feet were in the cruiser.

The agent also said investigators put trajectory rods through the bullet holes in the cruiser, showing how it had been struck numerous times, leading to multiple wounds for Jones and Brown.

According to Royse's testimony on July 18, Jones returned fire with his .357-caliber Glock pistol. When it was found by the deputy's body, its chamber was empty.

Agent Royse said the cruiser was in drive at the scene but the emergency brake was down.

Rocky Houston's trial is scheduled to begin in November.

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