A Texas man previously cleared in the fatal shooting of his neighbor has been indicted on a murder charge, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Mark Jabben, 46, told police he shot Kevin Battle in self-defense March 25 when the African-American man tried to barge his way into his side of their shared duplex in the heat of an argument. Police declined to charge Jabben in the shooting, which unfolded before Battle’s 5-year-old grandson, after gathering evidence they said corroborated his self-defense claim.
However, a grand jury that convened this week slapped the Texas man with an indictment for Battle’s murder.
In just the last few months, Jabben has faced allegations of violence in three separate incidents. The first involving Battle, 57, was reportedly sparked by Jabben’s use of a racial slur a week earlier, according to Battle’s son, Kevin Battle II. The day of the shooting, Jabben allegedly directed the slur at Battle’s young grandson. When Battle confronted his neighbor about the remark, an argument ensued and Battle was shot dead.
Fort Worth authorities said “Battle is believed to have attempted to enter into Jabben’s residence during the argument when Jabben fired three shots, striking Battle in the head.”
Police confirmed Battle wasn’t armed at the time of the incident.
A little over a month later, Jabben was arrested and charged after shooting his girlfriend, Theresa Ryan, on May 10. Jabben, who insisted the shooting was accidental, was booked on a count of aggravated assault against a relative with a weapon.
Officers arrived to Ryan’s home to find the 56-year-old with multiple injuries, including two knots and blood coming from her head. She told police that Jabben had aimed the gun at her back and struck her with the weapon twice before shooting her.
Jabben was jailed on $4,000 bond, which he posted just a few days later.
On May 20, the Texas man found himself behind bars yet again after the mother of his children told police he arrived to her Carrollton home and threatened to kill her, prosecutor Dale Smith said at the time.
With his bond revoked, Jabben was tossed back in jail, this time on a $50,000 bond.
Ultimately, no charges were filed in that incident, as the victim felt that while Jabben was capable of harming them, “nothing would happen that day,” according to Smith. Jabben, again, walked free after posting bond.
Battle’s shooting death sparked protests, as local activists voiced frustration over the lack of arrest and charges in the case. Battle’s family also spoke out and his fiancée, Talydia Adams, criticized the judge for granting Jabben bond in the first place, considering his pattern of violence.
“He’s bonding out and I feel like he’s a danger to society,” she told the Star-Telegram. “I just want him in jail, not out where he can do this to someone else … I don’t feel safe.”
Jabben is due in court Sept. 12 for the murder charge.
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