A Houston man was sentenced to 65 years in prison late Thursday for shooting a man in a gunfight outside of a gas station off West Road in the Copperfield area in 2020, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“It is nothing short of a tragedy when a 20-year-old man loses his life in brazen and thoughtless gun violence,” Ogg said. “There are consequences when someone pulls out a gun and starts shooting—one man lost his life and the shooter will spend decades behind bars.”
Percy Dedeounta Semien, 22, was convicted by a jury of murder in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Jaden LaCour on June 14, 2020. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison by state District Judge Robert Johnson.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two men agreed to meet up in the parking lot of a gas station at West Road near Easton Commons around 11:45 p.m. Although LaCour had cash on him when he was killed, it is unclear exactly why they were meeting. LaCour arrived with other people in a vehicle and Semien had arrived with other people who parked down the street.
Surveillance video from the store showed that their total interaction lasted less than two minutes. Semien and a friend approached LaCour and began speaking to him. Within a few moments, it appears LaCour and Semien became involved in a struggle, where LaCour was grabbed and pulled toward the defendant. The defendant then started shooting as he ran away.
LaCour was shot in the leg and abdomen and taken by ambulance to Ben Taub Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators were able to review surveillance video at the convenience store and later identified Semien as the shooter.
Assistant District Attorney Heather Axline, a chief in the DA’s trial bureau, prosecuted the case with ADA Tyler Arner, and noted that Semien never took responsibility for his actions and even tried to blame his victim.
“When you slow down the surveillance video, it’s very clear about what happened,” Axline said. “This was not self-defense and it was not defense of others—we see pretty clearly what happened.”
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