Houston Woman Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Killing Friend

Houston Woman Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Killing Friend

A Houston woman who pleaded guilty to murder in the shooting death of a friend has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“Unfortunately, we’re seeing more disputes ending in gunfire than ever before,” Ogg said. “Arguments should never be settled with a gun, and people who use their firearms with bad intentions, like in this case, will be held accountable.”

Frankie Williams, 32, pleaded guilty to murder earlier this month for shooting 34-year-old James Earl Harp at her north Houston home on March 13, 2020.

James Earl Harp

Harp, a father of six, was known in the neighborhood as a jokester. He needed a temporary place to stay and went to Williams’ house in the 7300 block of Schuller, where Williams, her brother, and another friend stayed. The four had known each other since high school.

Harp and Williams got into an argument that lasted at least an hour until she eventually shot him.

Harp was still alive after being shot, and Williams directed her brother and their friend to load him into the back of their pickup truck and drive him to a rural area where they dumped his body in a ditch.

Harp’s friends and family, including his 16-year-old daughter, gave victim impact statements on Monday before Williams’ formal sentencing.

She cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence and must serve at least half of the time before becoming eligible for parole.

The two men who helped Williams, 33-year-old Shannon Williams and 31-year-old Desman Tolliver, pleaded guilty in 2021 for their roles and were each sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Liberman, who is assigned to the DA’s trial bureau, prosecuted the case with ADA Brett Batchelor.

“They got into a fight over nothing that resulted in a death that didn’t have to happen,” Liberman said. “She knew he was a jovial guy with a family who was not a threat to anyone, and she could have just walked away instead of doing what she did.”