Houston Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Killing a New Jersey Man in Spring

Houston Man Sentenced to 22 Years in Prison for Killing a New Jersey Man in Spring

A Houston man was sentenced Monday to 22 years in prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to murder in a fatal shooting in Spring, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“This was a planned and premeditated attack on an unsuspecting visitor to Houston, and there have to be consequences,” Ogg said. “We were ready and willing to go to trial and seek justice in this case when the defendant opted to ask the judge to decide punishment, and that’s his choice.”

James Ray Lane, 24, pleaded guilty to murder on August 17 for gunning down Gregory L. Moore on June 28, 2021. Lane underwent a pre-sentence investigation during the past two months, and his punishment was decided by a judge after a day-long hearing Monday.

Gregory Moore

Moore, a New Jersey father of three who was single at the time of his death, was staying at an Airbnb in Spring with three friends who came to Houston on vacation. During the weekend of the shooting, they went to multiple clubs and restaurants and met several women with whom they exchanged phone numbers.

Late Sunday night, while the other men were inside the Airbnb house, Moore and one of the women he met that weekend arrived at the home in the 3500 block of Braewin Court.

The woman was Lane’s girlfriend. Lane was able to track her using her cellphone location.

Lane drove to the street the house was on, got out of his car with a flashlight and handgun and began assaulting Moore and the woman. He pistol-whipped both of them and shot Moore several times. Then he and the woman left together. Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

By using the cellphone data and witness accounts, Sheriff’s detectives were able to identify Lane as the killer. He was found and arrested days later.

Assistant District Attorney Kasie Herring and ADA Rodulfo Martinez, who are both assigned to the DA’s trial bureau, prosecuted the case.

“This was a jealous ambush  ̶  he ran up to them with a flashlight and a gun and ended up shooting nine times,” Herring said. “People in Harris County want to know that things are getting safer. I pray to God that the justice we seek in these cases makes this a safer place.”

After Lane was sentenced Monday, friends and family of Moore gave victim impact statements.

“They talked about how he drove all the way to Spring from southwest Houston and could have changed his mind anywhere along the way,” Martinez said of the family. “He did not show any true remorse or accountability, even after pleading guilty.” 

Lane must serve at least half of the prison sentence before he is eligible for parole.