Houston Woman Sentenced to 22 Years for Murder

Houston Woman Sentenced to 22 Years for Murder

A 50-year-old Houston woman pleaded guilty Friday to murder and was sentenced to 22 years in prison for fatally stabbing her boyfriend at a Galleria-area hotel in 2018, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“Domestic violence can take many different forms, and this was a violent murder,” Ogg said. “We mourn for the victim and his family  ̶  this murder did not have to happen.”

Shataraca Denise Pervis pleaded guilty to murder for killing 34-year-old Melvin Maxwell at a hotel in the 6200 block of Richmond on January 4, 2018.

The couple met the month before the slaying, and she had been staying in his hotel room for several days when Pervis stabbed Maxwell with a steak knife.

She left the hotel in the middle of the night and later told two friends that she had just killed someone but did not give them any details.

In late January, Maxwell’s decomposing body was found in the hotel room, prompting detectives with the Houston Police Department to open an investigation.

When crime scene investigators with the Houston Forensic Science Center examined the hotel room, they found Maxwell’s empty wallet, which had obviously been rifled through, on top of the blood-soaked bed.

Eventually, the killing was linked to Pervis, and she was charged with murder and arrested in June 2021.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Marshall, with the DA’s Domestic Violence Division, prosecuted the case. On Friday, just before jury selection was set to begin for Pervis’ murder trial, she chose to plead guilty.

“This was a callous murder, and afterward she fled and she lied,” Marshall said. “Justice finally caught up with her after five years when she was confronted with the fact that a Harris County jury was going to hold her accountable for what she did.”

Pervis must serve at least half of the sentence before she is eligible for parole. She cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence.