A 28-year-old Houston man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison for shooting a clerk at a Sunnyside gas station in 2019, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“This was a premeditated and intentional murder, and this man knew exactly what he was doing when he walked into a gas station in the middle of the night with a gun and ski mask,” Ogg said. “Gun violence is out of control, and justice in this case means this man will spend decades in prison.”
Melvin Douglas pleaded guilty Monday to murder for killing 29-year-old store clerk Odai Qadous on Oct. 7, 2019.
Douglas and two other men who have not been identified went into the gas station at 2800 Reed Road about 2:45 a.m. Douglas was wearing a ski mask, and the other men were wearing Halloween masks. Douglas was also wearing distinctive clothes, including blue shoes with a red tongue, ripped jeans and unique bracelets.
As the three men walked in, Qadous, who had a gun, tried to defend himself, but Douglas pulled a 9mm semi-automatic pistol with an extended clip and shot him three times. The men then immediately fled.
The spent shell casings were collected and sent for testing. The Houston Police Department also released surveillance footage of the attempted robbery to the media hoping for the public’s assistance with identifying the masked gunmen. A patron of a store in Houston’s Fifth Ward called in a tip to police that he had seen Douglas earlier that night at that store.
With that footage, and the results from the ballistics testing, investigators were able to identify Douglas, who was arrested about a month later.
Assistant District Attorney Karen Barney, who is a chief in the DA’s homicide division, and Michael Abner, a chief in the trial bureau, prosecuted the case.
“Mr. Qadous was well known in the community, and he was a friendly, kind and generous man,” Barney said. “We know that Mr. Douglas was the shooter and we’re relieved that he will spend most, if not all, of the rest of his life behind bars.”
ADA Barney noted that because Douglas pleaded guilty to murder, he cannot appeal the conviction or the punishment and he must serve at least half of the sentence before he is eligible for parole.
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