Houston man gets life sentence for shooting in dispute over assault rifle

A Houston gang member was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder for shooting a 19-year-old woman during a dispute over an assault rifle in 2019, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Saturday.

“This gang member took a teenage girl to a quiet neighborhood by promising to release her to her friends and gunned her down in cold blood to make it look like a drive-by shooting,” Ogg said. “Only a monster could go through with that level of calculated planning and premeditation.”

Patrick B. Jackson, a 30-year-old member of a street gang known as the Vice Lords, was convicted late Friday of killing Maria Fuentes, 19, whose body was found in the 5900 block of Hopetown in east Houston’s Pine Trails subdivision on Aug. 31, 2019.

Investigators learned that Fuentes went to Jackson’s apartment to recover an AR-15 assault rifle that belonged to one of Fuentes’ former roommates and had gone missing. When Fuentes and another man she knew walked into Jackson’s apartment, he demanded to know what they wanted and brandished a firearm. The man who came with Fuentes fled and later told authorities that he saw Jackson with a firearm and saw the missing rifle in the apartment.

Fuentes stayed at the apartment, and her body was found later that night where she had been taken and shot nine times with a drum-loaded AK-47, a type of assault rifle. Police found 22 shell casings at the scene.

“We obtained and presented all the possible evidence: DNA, cellphone records and surveillance video so that we could hold him accountable,” said Assistant District Attorney Andrew Figliuzzi, who prosecuted the case. “He took a life, so viciously and so senselessly, and the jury has now held this killer accountable by its verdict.”

Another man, Oshey Demond Petters, 28, is also charged with murder for his participation in Fuentes’ shooting. His case is pending.