A 42-year-old man was sentenced to 45 years in prison last week for fatally shooting a man who was trying to break up a fight at a bar in Houston’s Third Ward, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“People have arguments, they have disagreements, but pulling out a gun and shooting someone destroys two families: the victim’s and the gunman’s,” Ogg said. “The victim in this case was trying to be the voice of reason, and it was because he was trying to keep the peace that his voice was silenced forever.”
Ronald McClelland was convicted of murder by a Harris County jury on Thursday for killing 32-year-old Jo-Von Darnell Telfor, who was celebrating his birthday at a club on Oct. 18, 2020.
After McClelland was found guilty, he agreed to a 45-year punishment. He will have to serve at least half of that sentence before he is eligible for parole.
On the night of the murder, McClelland got into a late-night argument with several people at a nightclub in the 4700 block of Emancipation. The initial confrontation ended with the men walking away from each other, but the argument was reignited later on the sidewalk outside the club. Telfor tried to de-escalate the fight and got between a friend of McClelland’s and another man.
As Telfor worked to get the men to calm down, he stood between them with his outstretched arms separating them, but he was not touching either of them. At that point, which was captured on surveillance video, McClelland pulled out a small pistol and shot the innocent man in the chest. Telfor was taken to the hospital, where he died the next day.
“It’s just so senseless,” said Assistant District Attorney Shanice Newton, a prosecutor who is part of the Major Offenders Division of the DA’s Office. “It was Mr. Telfor’s birthday and they were all celebrating. It should not have ended like this.”
Newton handled the case with ADA Nisha King-Hawkins and said Telfor left behind four children and other family members who were all relieved that McClelland was convicted and sentenced to decades in prison.
“The victim’s mom wanted to get closure, and she felt like she got it,” Newton said. “An unarmed man was executed for no reason, and now his four kids will never get to see their father again.”
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