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Houston brothers to be tried separately

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

rclawrence@bellsouth.net

Two close-knit brothers accused in the shooting of a police officer and his friend won't be going to trial together.

Judge James “Buddy” Scott found validity in a prosecution request to have separate trials for brothers Rocky and Leon Houston.

After hearing arguments from both sides in Roane County Criminal Court on Friday, Scott ruled the brothers will be tried separately.

“I believe the state's motion is well taken,” Scott said.

Leon will face a jury first. His trial is tentatively set to start on July 14. There was no date set for Rocky's trial, but it likely won't happen until November.

The brothers are each charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony murder in the deaths of Roane County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Jones and his friend, Mike Brown, on May 11, 2006. Brown was out on a ride-along with Jones when they were shot to death South of the River outside of Leon's home.

For more on this story, read Monday's edition of the Roane County News.