Houston Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Clearlake-area Murder

Houston Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Clearlake-area Murder

A Houston man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for shooting a man in the back during a botched drug deal in the parking lot of a Clearlake-area convenience store in 2020, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.

“Gun violence in our community is pervasive and far too often we see someone pull a gun and start shooting just to solve an argument,” Ogg said. “And when that happens, it is a tragedy for everyone involved.”

Kendrick Marquis Bluitt, 23, pleaded guilty to murder on the eve of trial earlier this week. He admitted to shooting 21-year-old Caleb McCarty about 5:40 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2020. Bluitt and two young women met McCarty at a gas station at 245 El Dorado Blvd., just off the Gulf Freeway, to buy marijuana.

To do the deal, McCarty got into the backseat of the car in which Bluitt was a passenger. An argument broke out between the men, and when McCarty opened his door and began to get out, Bluitt shot him three times in the back. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bluitt and the two women fled, and he was later arrested. The women were not charged. Bluitt pleaded guilty Wednesday and was sentenced Thursday. Homicide detectives with the Houston Police Department investigated the case.

Assistant District Attorney Edward A. Appelbaum, who prosecuted the case along with ADA Connor Lasater, said McCarty’s mother, grandmother, an aunt and an uncle gave victim impact statements about the young man after the sentencing.

“He was really loved, and they said he had a smile that would light up a room,” Appelbaum said. “This was an act of cowardice – a callous and cold-blooded murder that did not have to happen. It started with an argument over nothing.”