A judge Friday declared a mistrial in the case of James Ramone Daniels Jr., 23, who is charged with murder in the 2016 shooting of a 56-year-old La Marque man.

The evidence included information that shouldn’t have appeared in the case, said Bill Reed, assistant criminal district attorney and felony division chief. Judge John Ellisor, of the 122nd District Court, declared a mistrial at the request of the defense attorney and will reset the case for a new trial, Reed said.

La Marque police charged Daniels with murder Aug. 18, 2016, in the shooting death of Ricky Steele. Steele was shot early that morning in front of an apartment complex in the 900 block of Tallow Street in La Marque.

Police found Steele about 10 a.m. near the apartment complex, lying face down with his feet against a fence with blood on his face and legs, police said. Initial reports were that Steele was found inside his apartment.

Daniels — known in the apartment complex as “Junior” — had shown up about 1 a.m. at a neighbor’s door threatening to hurt Steele, according to a probable cause affidavit.

He was holding a rifle and told the neighbor that Steele owed him money, according to the affidavit.

Daniels offered another man in the apartment $500 to “mess him (Steele) up,” but the man declined the offer, according to the affidavit.

Daniels said “he would just do it himself,” according to the affidavit.

In the hours after discovering Steele’s body, Daniels’ father, James Daniels Sr., appeared at the La Marque police station and told officers his son had come to his house and recounted beating up Steele, according the affidavit.

James Daniels Sr., who is not the well-known pastor in La Marque and Texas City, told police that Steele had tried to run away from the younger Daniels, who shot him in the leg and chest, according to the affidavit.

Samantha Ketterer: 409-683-5241; samantha.ketterer@galvnews.com or on Twitter at @sam_kett



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