A Katy man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for a 2021 murder at a motel in Houston’s Energy Corridor, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“Unfortunately, we see cases like this far too often in which someone pulls a gun and starts shooting without any regard for the consequences,” Ogg said. “We were ready to go trial when this defendant accepted responsibility for what he did, and hopefully seeing justice served in this case will give this young man’s family some closure.”
Derek Maurice Singleton, 25, pleaded guilty to murder on the eve of trial on Friday in the shooting death of 22-year-old Eric Soniat in a car in the parking lot of a motel in the 14800 block of Park Row at about 6 p.m. on April 2, 2021.
Singleton was meeting with Soniat and another man to buy a bag of marijuana when Singleton opened fire and shot both men several times. Soniat was killed. The other man survived and told police what happened.
Singleton was scheduled to go to trial this week when he pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of 50 years in prison. He was facing the possibility of life in prison.
According to the terms of the agreement, Singleton cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence. He must serve at least half of the prison sentence before he will be eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Raygor and Megan Long, who are assigned to the DA’s Homicide Division, handled the case.
“This defendant’s callous disregard for human life is just appalling,” Long said. “He shot both men several times for no reason at all.”
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