Co-defendant Deshon Houston pleads guilty in Hobson case

Monday, August 22, 2011 | 6:26 p.m. CDT; updated 9:35 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 23, 2011

COLUMBIA – A third co-defendant in the Aaron Hobson shooting pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery at a hearing Monday.

Deshon Houston, 21, has a sentencing hearing scheduled for Feb. 13, 2012, after the scheduled jury trials and proceedings for the seven other co-defendants in the case.

Aaron Hobson was shot in the Break Time convenience store parking lot on East Nifong Boulevard on Oct. 23, 2010. He was visiting Columbia to watch his cousin, MU cornerback Trey Hobson, play in the homecoming football game. Eight men were eventually arrested in connection with the shooting.

Boone County Chief Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight said that if Houston testifies truthfully as a cooperative witness in all other court proceedings related to the Hobson case, including jury trials, he will receive a sentence of eight years at the Missouri Department of Corrections.

"The factors that weighed heavily in (Houston's) favor was his willingness to accept his responsibility, cooperate with law enforcement and his truthfulness about what happened," Knight said.

So far, two others have pleaded guilty in the case — Daron Peal, 23, who is believed to have held the gun that shot Hobson, and Patrick Marshall, 18.

Peal pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action, carrying recommended sentences of 25 years each. Marshall pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and armed criminal action for a total recommendation of 20 years.

Knight reiterated the prosecution's primary objective was to hold the shooter accountable for Hobson's death, which is one reason why the recommended sentences differ in severity.

Houston, who is represented by public defender Jenean Thompson, was the only co-defendant of the eight who was not charged according to the indictment filed by Knight on June 24. He and Marshall were also the only two listed on the witness lists for the case.

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