A habitual offender who fatally shot a man during a late-night argument in front of an Acres Homes convenience store in 2020 was sentenced to 80 years in prison this week, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“Our urban areas are plagued by violence, especially gun violence, and that is why we work so hard to get justice in cases like this,” Ogg said. “This family had to bury a loved one because this defendant started an argument and then decided to start shooting.”
Demondrian Denshae McWright, 33, was sentenced by a judge late Monday after a Harris County jury convicted him of murder following a six-day trial.
In the middle of a heated argument among several people, McWright pulled out a silver revolver and shot 36-year-old Gerald Nash once. McWright then stood over Nash’s body and emptied the pistol.
The argument started when Nash, the victim, and his fiancée arrived at the convenience store about 10 p.m. on Jan. 25, 2020. At the store, they saw a woman who had children with the Nash’s fiancée’s brother.
That woman, McWright and a female friend confronted Nash’s fiancée about her brother. It escalated into a heated argument that was caught on surveillance video.
Nash, who was not connected to the argument, tried to leave the fracas several times and go inside the store to do his shopping, but McWright stopped him each time. Instead of arguing, Nash got back into his car to wait for the argument to be resolved. A few minutes into the argument, McWright put his hands on Nash’s fiancée, so Nash got out of the car and pushed McWright away.
When that happened, McWright pulled out the pistol and killed Nash. He then fled and was arrested about eight months later by the Houston Police Department.
At the time of the murder, McWright was free on bond after being arrested just 10 days earlier for a drug-dealing case involving fentanyl and for carrying a pistol even though he was a convicted felon.
He had been released from custody on bond even though he was on parole after serving prison time for a 2014 conviction involving possession of a stolen gun. Before that, he had been convicted for possession of cocaine and marijuana. He was also convicted for punching a corrections officer in the Harris County Jail.
Assistant District Attorney Edward A. Appelbaum, who is a chief prosecutor, and ADA Matthew Bergeron took the case to trial.
“This verdict needs to be heard outside the four walls of the courtroom because we are inundated with senseless gun violence,” Appelbaum said. “We don’t settle disputes with six-shooters. There were so many other options this defendant could have taken instead of ending someone’s life.”
Appelbaum noted that the victim’s family was relieved to hear the verdict after waiting more than three years since the murder.
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