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Last of eight defendants sentenced in Hobson homicide

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | 7:10 p.m. CST; updated 7:53 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 1, 2013

COLUMBIA — The last defendant in the murder of Aaron Hobson was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to eight years in prison.

Deshon Houston, 21, has been in prison since 2010 and will be given credit for time served. Prosecutors have said he was the person who supplied the murder weapon in the case.

Status of other defendants

Daron Martinez Peal: Pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action. Serving 45 years. Currently at Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron.

Darris Arlando Peal: Convicted of second-degree murder. Serving 25 years. Currently at Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center.

Leo Demarcus Roland: Pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Serving 25 years. Currently at South Central Correctional Center in Licking.

Lee Wyatt Carter: Pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Serving 15 years. Currently at Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center.

Patrick Rashod Marshall: Pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and armed criminal action. Serving 15 years. Currently at Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center.

Anthony Jamel Carr: Pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery. Serving 10 years. Currently at Fulton Reception & Diagnostic Center.

Deshon Joseph Houston: Pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery. He was sentenced to eight years in prison on Tuesday.

Tony Lewis: Lewis was acquitted of all charges by a jury on Feb. 4.

 



Nearly a year and four months after Hobson's murder, Boone County prosecutors have finished trying their case. Eight men were ultimately charged with second-degree murder and second-degree robbery. Six defendants pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and two went to trial. 

Only one, Tony Lewis, was acquitted of all charges.

The night Hobson died, Oct. 23, 2010, he was visiting Columbia with friends to watch his cousin, Missouri defensive back Trey Hobson, play in the homecoming football game. He was 22.

Earlier that night, Houston went to a party at the Peachtree Catering and Banquet Center with a loaded gun in the trunk of his car. According to witness testimony in Lewis' trial earlier this month, Houston fired shots into the air just to see what his gun sounded like. The gun was a 9 mm black highpoint.

A few hours later, in the middle of the crowded Break Time parking lot at 110 E. Nifong Boulevard, Hobson was beaten and robbed at gunpoint by Houston and a group of men. During the scuffle, Hobson was fatally shot with a single, 9 mm bullet from the same gun Houston fired into the air earlier that night.

In the Break Time surveillance footage shown during Lewis' trial, Houston can be seen getting an object out of his trunk just seconds before Hobson was shot. Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight alleged that Houston retrieved the murder weapon from his car and gave it to Daron Peal.

While cross-examining Peal during the Lewis trial, Knight said that Houston had given the gun to Peal just seconds before the murder in exchange for $200 from the robbery.

In an interview Tuesday evening, Knight said Houston was given a deal because he began to cooperate early in the investigation and turned the tide of the case.

"There is always a give and take," Knight said about offering Houston a plea deal.

Knight said Houston was the first of the defendants to plead guilty and that his cooperation was instrumental in getting others to plead guilty, including Daron Peal. 

"The killer got a very long time," and that was in part because of Houston's cooperation, Knight said.

Despite his connection to the murder weapon, this cooperation got Houston a prison sentence of eight years, the shortest of any of the defendants. The five other men who pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from this case were sentenced to between 10 and 45 years in prison. During his jury trial, Darris Peal, the brother of the man accused of shooting Hobson, was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison.


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