ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Two high-profile murder cases in Abilene are set for trial on the same day, exactly one month away.
Luke Sweetser, accused of killing Abilene realtor Tom Niblo in December 2016, and Michael and Johnnie Dee Miller, accused of shooting and killing their neighbor Aaron Howard over a fight about trash in the alley in September 2018, are all set to stand trial August 22, 2022.
Sweetser has been indicted on one count of Murder in connection to Niblo’s death. Niblo was shot and killed inside his home on Woodridge Drive.
Niblo was Sweetser’s brother-in-law, and court documents suggest that the two could have been involved in an ongoing dispute over Niblo’s late father’s estate. His will named Niblo and his mother as an executor, but not his sister, Sweetser’s wife Ellouise.
When investigators executed a search warrant on a storage building connected to the Niblo family after his murder, they discovered stolen firearms belonging to a local attorney in a safe solely controlled by Sweetser. He has been charged with Theft of a Firearm in connection to this incident, and is set to stand trial for this charge on August 22 as well.
The Millers were both arrested after a fight with Howard in the alley behind their home on the 4300 block of Don Juan Street escalated into a shooting.
Video recorded by the girlfriend of victim Aaron Howard shows the Millers, shirtless and armed with a shotgun and a pistol, arguing with Howard, who was armed with a bat, over a boxspring that was left in the alleyway.
It appears both suspects could face trial together. Both trials are scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. August 22, in Taylor County’s 350th District Court. A formal motion to consolidate the trials was going to be heard at the beginning of July, but that hearing was postponed.
Sweetser’s trial is also set to begin at 9:00 a.m. August 22, in Taylor County’s District Court.
Just because the trials are set to begin, doesn’t mean they will happen.
A lot changes can take place between now and August 22. The trials can be reset or they can even be moved to a different courtroom.
All of the trials have already been rescheduled multiple times.
BigCountryHomepage.com will continue to monitor the status of these trials. Check back for any updates.