A Houston man was sentenced to life in prison without parole late Thursday for killing a convenience store manager in a 2016 armed robbery, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“The community is tired of unabashed gun violence, and when the evidence supports it, they will send a message by sending violent offenders to prison for the rest of their lives, without parole,” Ogg said. “There is absolutely no reason this hard-working store manager had to die and that his family has to live with the grief. It is heartbreaking.”
Nadonte Pugh, 27, was convicted by a jury who deliberated for about 45 minutes after a two-day trial for capital murder.
Pugh attempted to rob a convenience store in the 8500 block of F.M. 1960 at about 8:10 p.m. on Saturday, March 12, 2016. When confronted by the robber, who was armed with a handgun, the cashier ran to the back of the store to get the manager, 51-year-old Zia Siddiqui of Spring, who also pulled a pistol.
As the two men exchanged gunfire, the manager shot three times, hitting Pugh once in the groin. Pugh shot the manager four times, killing him, and fled the store.
Officers with Houston Police Department’s Northwest Patrol responded to the scene and testified at trial.
Less than an hour after the shooting, Pugh arrived at an emergency room in Humble, where he received first aid. Hospital officials contacted law enforcement, but because Pugh was in a different jurisdiction, he left the hospital before authorities realized he was involved in a capital murder.
He was later arrested in Midland and returned to Harris County.
Assistant District Attorney Chandler Raine, who is assigned to the DA’s Homicide Division, prosecuted the case with ADA Hunter Brown.
Jurors heard from the store clerk who was present at the shooting and identified Pugh, Raine said. The jury also saw surveillance video from the store and the hospital, both of which clearly showed Pugh’s face.
“We’re thankful for the civilians who came to the courthouse to testify after seven years so that we were able to get justice for the victim and his family,” Raine said. “The evidence of the injury and the video from the hospital was very important. If the victim hadn’t shot the defendant, we might not have solved this case.”
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