published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Charges against man in Chattanooga officer shooting, separate robbery sent to grand jury

A 39-year-old Chattanooga man saw charges of attempted murder in two separate incidents sent to the grand jury after a hearing Tuesday.

Celvin "Squeaky" Houston is charged in the shooting of Chattanooga police Officer William McMillan in early March.

The officer was responding to a call at East Lake Courts, where he encountered Houston.

Prosecutor Lance Pope alleges that Houston shot McMillan and fled.

Houston left his cellphone at the scene, which made it easier to find him, according to police.

McMillan sustained gunshot wounds to his thigh, groin and buttock. They were not life-threatening.

Collegedale Judge Kevin Wilson sat in place of Judge Christie Mahn Sell. He sent the charge to the grand jury after Pope presented evidence and testimony that Houston had told others he had "messed up and shot a cop."

At the time of the East Lake shooting, Houston was wanted on charges he shot another man in the leg during a robbery at the Hamilton Inn on Rossville Boulevard.

The robbery victim testified Tuesday. He said he had gone to high school with Houston. As the victim walked to his room at the hotel with a bag of CDs and DVDs, he said, Houston rushed him from behind a car, pointed a semiautomatic handgun at him and said he would kill him if he didn't give him money.

Houston then shot me in the leg, the victim testified.

Wendi Stanfield, Houston's appointed attorney, asked the victim why he didn't immediately identify Houston when he first spoke to police and had to use a mug shot to identify the alleged shooter.

The victim said he didn't have any problem identifying Houston.

Houston remains in custody at the Hamilton County Jail.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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