Houston Man Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison for Murder Outside Gulf Freeway Club

Houston Man Sentenced to 55 Years in Prison for Murder Outside Gulf Freeway Club

A 28-year-old man was sentenced to 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for shooting a husband and father of two in the parking lot of a club in south Houston in 2022, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“We are thankful to the jury who recognized that this defendant went to extraordinary lengths to find and then gun down an unarmed man in broad daylight,” Ogg said. “Justice mandates that this killer spend decades behind bars for taking the life of a young father and husband who should have lived to see his kids grow up.” 

Luis Alejandro Valencia was convicted of murder and sentenced by a jury late Friday for shooting 29-year-old Erik Villeda on Feb. 12, 2022.

It is unclear exactly why Valencia decided to kill Villeda but testimony showed that Villeda and his wife were apparently having marital problems that Valencia found out about the day before the shooting.

After hearing the married couple was having problems, Valencia tracked down Villeda and killed him.

The shooting happened mid-day while Villeda was at a club in a shopping center in the 8500 block of the Gulf Freeway.

Valencia drove his mother’s small Subaru SUV into the parking lot and, while still in his car, called over Villeda who was standing outside the bar.

Witnesses said Valencia told Villeda that he had been talking to the married man’s wife, angering Villeda.

Valencia, still sitting behind the wheel of his car, wearing a cowboy hat and a face mask, then pulled out a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and started shooting.

Villeda tried to run away, but Valencia emptied a 16-round magazine, hitting Villeda four times in the back, killing him. As the killer fled the scene, he left the cowboy hat behind, which had his DNA on it.

The Houston Police Department responded to the scene and investigated, including collecting the cowboy hat and surveillance video from the bar.

The next day, Valencia was stopped at Bush Intercontinental Airport trying to go through security with two knives and 75 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

While in the Harris County Jail following the murder, Valencia was also charged with attempted escape for trying to dig his way out of the jail.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Figliuzzi, who is a chief in DA’s Trial Bureau, prosecuted the six-day murder trial with ADA Erandy Marquez.

“This murder was particularly heinous because he initiated the confrontation and then shot an unarmed man in the back multiple times,” Figliuzzi said. “Our community is sick of gun violence, and this verdict, 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, shows that.”