A man from Missouri has been charged with the crime of involuntary manslaughter after he allegedly went to his neighbor's house, mistaking it for his own, and then choked the real home owner to death because he thought his neighbor was an intruder.
The police believe Michael G. Augustine was drunk at the time that he reportedly killed 60-year-old Clifton King, reports WDAF.
King died in his front yard on the evening of Jan. 19 after he went to his door and found Augustine, who was one of his neighbors, making an attempt to gain entry to the house.
His other neighbors informed WDAF that Augustine, who lives down the block, believed that it was his house and that King had broken in.
As the incident continued, Augustine also called 911 and reported to them that he had an intruder in a choke hold. However, when the police officers arrived at Augustine’s residence, they could not find anyone home, and so they kept searching the area.
Later, they discovered both of the males a few blocks up the road at King’s house.
According to the courtroom paperwork, the police also considered that Augustine was heavily intoxicated at the time. As a result, his speech was incoherent and the officers also experienced a robust odor of alcohol when in contact of Augustine.
A neighbor, who didn’ not want to reveal her identity because she fears doing so might be putting herself in danger, stated that she had watched the paramedics trying to revive King, who was also an Army veteran, for about half an hour before finally declaring his death.
The neighbor stated, “He served our nation and that was not an honorable option to deal with him. I think that it is sad. It’s sad!”
She continued, “Someone had to give their life up because someone was so messed up they didn’t know it wasn’t their home.”
Some other neighbors stated that King had also been homeless at one point in his life because he could not procure a steady job for himself. They also stated that he was very pleasant and friendly to all his neighbors in some way or another.
Some of his neighbors also have a feeling of guilt for not having contacted the police immediately themselves after having heard the commotion. They also said that there are often arguments around the block and some say it’s better for them not to get involved in any of these matters. This seems to go in line with why the neighbor lady written about above wanted to keep her identity a secret. It wouldn't be too far a stretch to assume that the people on this particular block constantly live in fear, at least to some extent.
The prosecutors have charged Augustine with first-degree involuntary manslaughter, but the neighbors report that he has already posted bond and moved out of the area for good. There was also no response to a call at the door when WDAF tried to contact him.