Sheriff: Man claims he shot father to protect his children - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff: Man claims he shot father to protect his children

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James Jason White (Source: Smith County Jail) James Jason White (Source: Smith County Jail)
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

According to a Smith County Sheriff's office arrest affidavit, the man who killed his father at their Lake Tyler home said he did it to protect his children.

40-year-old James Jason White is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting 62-year-old Steven White Saturday night in Smith County.

In the arrest affidavit, Jason White told investigators that he had just returned home from camping at the lake with his children when he got into an argument with his father.

White alleges his father, Steven, was demanding to see the kids. That's when he said he took a 20-gauge shotgun out of his pickup truck, shooting his father in the chest in the front yard.

"I heard a gunshot and the dog started going crazy," said neighbor Steve Morman.

"It wasn't totally unusual, because Jason, they shot their guns quite a bit," said his wife Traci Morman. "Hearing a gunshot wasn't quite unusual to us."

Jason White told police that he believed  his father was abusing his two children and said he filed a police report just a month ago.

"It's such a shock because they're always family," said Traci Morman. "It seemed like they were always family-oriented and had their family around."

Jason White has been in trouble with the law before.

He was charged with a DWI and resisting arrest in 1995, driving with a suspended license in 2000 and indecent exposure in 2009.

After allegedly shooting his father Saturday night, Jason called 911, asking for EMS assistance for chest pains.

When ETMC arrived on scene, they found Steven White with a gunshot wound to the chest and alerted the Smith County Sheriff's office.

Upon the deputies' arrival, authorities said Jason White came out of the trailer he lived in on his father's property with his hands up, confessing to shooting his father so that, "he and his boys could be free."

Authorities said they asked Jason White why he did not wait for justice to be served through the investigation of the abuse claims and he responded, "I don't know."

White remains in the Smith County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

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