A Katy man was sentenced to 35 years in prison late Thursday for shooting a driver outside a motel near Highway 290 and Tidwell, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“When people show up with a plan to start shooting and someone gets killed, that is murder,” Ogg said. “Gun violence leads to more gun violence, and the consequences for using guns to settle a score usually means decades in prison.”
Ramon Carlos Hernandez, 42, was sentenced by the Harris County jury that convicted him of murder in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Darren Price just after midnight on April 11, 2020.
Hernandez was part of a group of armed men who went to a three-story extended-stay motel within the 5900 block of Guhn Road because of an argument between guests.
A shoot-out erupted on the third floor of the motel, which had open-air walkways along the exterior of the building. When the shots rang out, a man who was one of the intended targets fled on foot, leaping from the second floor to the ground parking lot.
That man’s friend was downstairs in his Toyota Corolla sedan and started driving away from the scene, along with several other people who had heard the gunshots.
Hernandez, also fleeing the third-floor shoot-out, continued to fire as he made his way downstairs. He jumped into his friend’s tow truck and fired his pistol at the back of Price's fleeing Corolla, shattering the back windshield and hitting Price in the back of the head, killing him.
Assistant District Attorney Ryan Volkmer, who is a chief in the DA’s Organized Crime Division, prosecuted the case in a 10-day trial. He said Hernandez, who was in one moving vehicle, admitted firing a shot at another moving vehicle, shown at trial to be about 200 feet away, headed in the other direction.
“It was a confrontation that had been brewing all day between at least six people that ended up becoming a shoot-out turned into a deadly car getaway,” Volkmer said. “The defendant made a decision to fire at people, hotel rooms, and then vehicles, eventually killing the victim, who was not part of the shoot-out.”
Volkmer noted that officers with the Houston Police Department responded to the chaotic scene at the motel and the murder scene on the road nearby and were able to piece together what happened in order to solve the murder.
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