Santiago Vasquez

The 84-year-old Killeen man police say shot and killed his 80-year-old neighbor will have a special hearing Thursday to discuss a potential bond reduction.

Santiago Vasquez has been in the Bell County Jail since June 1. He is charged with one count of murder and was indicted by a Bell County grand jury on Wednesday.

His bond is currently $1 million. He is charged with killing John Seth Jr. on May 30, in the 2800 block of Fishpond Lane in Killeen.

The two men were next-door neighbors with a 4-foot fence separating their front yards.

"($1 million) is excessive and unreasonable. There is no way for my client to post a bond in that amount," said James Stapler, Vasquez's attorney. "My client has extensive local ties and has never committed a crime in his 84 years."

Seth’s stepson Michael Coleman said Vasquez harassed Seth numerous times during the 12 years his father lived in that home.

Sometimes it was something as small as throwing fruit into his yard, and other times it was throwing rocks through windows or shouting racial slurs at him through a megaphone, Coleman said in an interview earlier this month.

Seth’s wife still resides in the Fishpond Lane home. Coleman did not support the idea of Vasquez getting out of jail on bond when he was interviewed in early June.

“He should have no bond. You’re telling me you want to let a murderer out?” he said. “He’s a murderer. He’s going to do it again. ... Ain’t no bail too high for a murderer. I think Killeen is too good for that.”

Killeen police responded to a shots-fired call at 3:13 p.m. May 30 to the Fishpond Lane neighborhood.

Officers found Seth lying in the road with gunshot wounds, according to Killeen police spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez.

A witness told investigators Vasquez assaulted Seth with his cane, knocking Seth down twice. When Seth tried to stand up, Vasquez shot him three times, according to the affidavit. Seth died at the scene.

It is not known what led to the argument between the two men.

Police had been dispatched to Vasquez’s house at least a dozen times over the past 12 years, Coleman said.

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(1) comment


I really hope Seth's widow gets a restraining order. That murderer shouldn't be allowed anywhere near her or her home.

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