A Houston man was sentenced to life in prison this week for his role in two murders in 2020, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“In this case, there are two families who lost loved ones to the kind of rampant gun violence that we are seeing far too often in Harris County,” Ogg said. “We mourn with the families of the victims, and we hope that getting justice in their cases brings them at lease a small amount of peace.”
Xavier Jerome McConico, 23, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder for shooting 27-year-old Earl Anthony-Blair Foster of Missouri City on March 31, 2020.
In that case, McConico and several other people were involved in a heated argument that turned into a fistfight inside a gas station in the 2500 block of Almeda-Genoa in southwest Houston at about 9:15 p.m.
During the altercation, one man punched another man, leaving him unconscious. McConico then pulled out a handgun prompting Foster, who was not involved in the altercation, and another man to run out of the store.
McConico fired three shots at the two men as they ran into the parking lot and hit Foster in the back of the head. Foster fell and died near the store’s gas pumps.
McConico then fled from the gas station. Detectives with the Houston Police Department were able to pull surveillance video of the crime and arrested McConico. He admitted to his role in the shooting.
Foster had a degree in sociology from the University of Houston, where he played football on scholarship.
Two months before that slaying, evidence showed McConico shot 16-year-old Undre Thomas at an apartment complex on Sterlingshire Street in northeast Houston at about 10:55 a.m. on January 30, 2020.
Witnesses said the teenage victim knew McConico and were both at the complex when a confrontation involving several people turned into a gunfight. Thomas was killed in the crossfire when McConico tried to shoot someone else. Friends attempted to drive him to the hospital, but because his injuries were so bad, they pulled over and called 911 for emergency help. The teen was pronounced dead at a Heights-area hospital.
Four months later, investigators with the Houston Police Department were able to identify McConico as the shooter and charged him with murder. He was already in the Harris County Jail for the March 31 murder.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Neyland, who is a chief in the DA’s Organized Crime Division, prosecuted the case in a nine-day trial. A Harris County jury found McConico guilty of murder after deliberating just 45 minutes.
McConico then opted to have his punishment decided by state District Judge Josh Hill, who handed down a life sentence.
“This defendant is a very violent gang member who shot an innocent man in the back of the head as he was running away,” Neyland said. “This defendant killed two people within two months—he deserved to be sentenced to life in prison.”
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