A 30-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison late Friday after being convicted of murder for a shooting in Houston’s Near Northside neighborhood in 2022, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“This was an ambush that happened in a Houston neighborhood at 11:30 in the morning,” Ogg said. “Everything about this crime speaks to a complete disregard for human life—we’re glad that the jury saw fit to hand down the maximum sentence.”
Quinnton R. Allen, 30, was sentenced to life by the Harris County jury who convicted him of murder earlier in the day for the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Luis Espinoza on June 18, 2022.
Espinoza was driving a white Jeep Cherokee by a convenience store near the intersection of Fairbanks and Gano before noon that day. Allen was seen on surveillance video at the store and walking into the street in front of Espinoza’s vehicle.
Allen knew Espinoza and started talking to him as he walked in front of the Cherokee. He approached Espinoza’s driver’s side window and spoke to him for about two minutes. Then, Allen pulled a semi-automatic 9mm pistol out of his backpack and fired seven shots, hitting Espinoza six times.
Espinoza’s car was not in park, he had simply stopped and left his foot on the brake. After he was shot, he took his foot off the brake and his car began rolling away and hit a pole.
Allen ran to a silver Dodge Avenger parked nearby, which was driven by someone else, got in and fled the scene. The driver has yet to be identified.
Detectives with the Houston Police Department responded to the scene, and after reviewing surveillance video and talking to witnesses, were able to find and arrest Allen.
Assistant District Attorney Nancy Ta, a chief in the DA’s Trial Bureau, and ADA Gina Gilmore, who is also in the Trial Bureau, prosecuted Allen in a four-day trial.
“We know that this was an ambush because of the way it happened and the getaway car that picked up the defendant after the shooting,” Ta said. “We may never know why he did it, but it was an absolutely senseless murder.”
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