Attempted murder charges were dismissed Friday against the leader of a religious group in a November 1987 shootout with self-proclaimed messiah George Roden.
During a pretrial hearing Friday morning in Waco’s 54th State District Court, McLennan County District Attorney Paul Gartner told Judge George Allen that he was contemplating dismissing the attempted murder charge against Vernon Wayne Howell, 28. Gartner decided later in the day to dismiss the third-degree felony charge.
Howell, the leader of the Branch Davidians Seventh-day Adventists group that lives on a farm northwest of Waco, was among eight Branch Davidians charged with attempted murder in the incident.
All but Howell were acquitted in April after a week-long trial in Waco. Jurors could not reach a verdict concerning Howell, forcing Allen to declare a mistrial in his case.