Houston man sentenced to life in prison for 45-minute crime spree that left three dead

 Houston man sentenced to life in prison for 45-minute crime spree that left three dead

A Houston man was sentenced to life in prison this week for a 45-minute crime spree that involved shooting four men, three of whom died, and a 20-mile police chase, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Saturday.

“It is heartbreaking that a madman with a gun and a stolen car can kill three people and absolutely devastate their families in a matter of minutes,” Ogg said. “Life in prison is absolutely the right result.”

Joshua Kelsey, 37, was convicted Thursday. He shot Louis Hodges around 8:15 p.m. on May 6, 2020. Hodges and another man, who both knew Kelsey well, had picked him up to help them buy drugs. They drove Kelsey to a house in southwest Houston and gave him $40 to buy heroin. He went in and returned about 20 minutes later without the drugs or the money. A witness testified that he seemed “high.”

Hodges and the other man, who were in a silver Kia sedan, drove Kelsey about half a block, stopping in a parking lot in the 14200 block of Bridgeport. When they stopped, Kelsey pulled out a pink pistol and threatened both men, who got out of the car and tried to run away.

He fired at least eight times. He hit Hodges, who fell, and shot the other man three times as he ran away. Kelsey then stood above Hodges and shot him in the chest. The other man ran to a nearby house, where the homeowners called the Houston Police Department. A witness testified that Kelsey was angry at Hodges for an incident the day before in which Hodges was apparently careless with a small bag of heroin.

Kelsey then took the car to a house in the 5200 block of Kelling Street, the home of his friend, Michael Miller, who had let Kelsey store his RV in 2016. However, Kelsey seemed to have abandoned the RV and could not be reached for six months, so Miller had it hauled away.

Minutes after the first shooting, Kelsey knocked on the front door and fatally shot Miller when he answered, according to Miller’s longtime partner. She told investigators that Kelsey blamed Miller for getting rid of the RV, which, Kelsey believed, led to him becoming homeless.

Kelsey fled and went to a house in the 13500 block of Hooper Road, where an old acquaintance named Juan Garcia lived. When Garcia answered the door, Kelsey said, “I’ve got something for you” and fatally shot him, according to two witnesses who were at the house. It was unclear why Kelsey held a grudge against Garcia.

Kelsey left in the stolen Kia and was arrested about seven hours later, after a 20-mile police chase that ended in Sugar Land.

“This is a guy who has never accepted any responsibility for his actions, and he made a plan to kill people who he held grudges against,” said Assistant District Attorney Sean Teare, who prosecuted the case with ADA David Brucker. “He had deep-seated anger and hatred for these people. He has to be locked away for as long as possible because who knows who else he may have grudges against.”

A Harris County jury found Kelsey guilty of all three murders, and he was sentenced to life in prison.