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Heaven-or-hell argument ends with shotgun slaying

July 29, 2002 Posted: 11:45 PM EDT (0345 GMT)

GODLEY, Texas (Reuters) -- An argument over who was going to heaven and who was going to hell ended with one Texas man shooting another to death with a shotgun, police said Monday.

The man charged in the slaying is a corrections officer.

Johnny Joslin, 20, was allegedly shot by Clayton Frank Stoker, 21, on Sunday. The two had spent Saturday night bar hopping with two other men in Fort Worth, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northeast of Godley.

Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford said a witness who was the designated driver for the group told police the four men were sitting at a table outside a trailer park after their night on the town and began arguing about religion.

The talk became heated when the subject turned to who would go to heaven and who would go to hell.

Stoker said he would settle the argument and went into a house and returned with a shotgun, which he loaded and placed in his mouth, Alford said the witness reported.

"The victim Joslin then took the gun out of Stoker's mouth, saying, 'If you have to shoot somebody, shoot me,"' Alford said, citing the witness report.

The shotgun went off, hitting Joslin in the chest and killing him.

Stoker, a Johnson County corrections officer, has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, Alford said.

Copyright 2002 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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