September 16, 2019
A 72-year-old Houston house painter has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for running over a former girlfriend four times, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Monday.
Rogelio Alberto Guardado was in a work truck when he hit the 41-year-old woman about 11:05 p.m. on September 11, 2016. She had seen him slashing her car tires and was fleeing, when he ran her down near the entrance of her apartment complex at 6767 Long Drive in southeast Houston.
“He tried to kill her and she wouldn’t die,” Ogg said. “Domestic violence fuels our murder rate. We are lucky she was strong enough to survive this horror.”
Witnesses told police that Guardado then drove his gray Nissan Frontier pickup to the rear of the complex entrance, accelerated toward his ex-girlfriend and struck her a second time. Guardado then put the vehicle in reverse and struck her a third time.
A crowd of people rushed out to the parking lot to help the woman and stop Guardado. He fled after he ran over her a fourth time.
The woman suffered broken ribs, a shattered pelvis, two broken legs, head trauma and life-threatening internal injuries. She spent two months in the hospital after the attack and then spent two years in a wheelchair trying to recover.
She was able to use a walker to come into court and testify Friday against the man she once thought she was going to marry.
“She was incredibly brave. She told about how this was someone she loved, someone she trusted and how bad things got after they broke up,” Assistant District Attorney Nicci Campbell said. “She told about hearing her bones being crushed under the tires and seeing her own blood on the ground. Her body was essentially severed in half.”
The woman testified that she came out of her apartment to find Guardado slashing the tires of her car. He then got in his truck and ran her over as she tried to run away.
After he hit her, he drove around and ran over her three more times as a crowd rushed to help the woman. Witnesses said he continued to try to run over her again even in the midst of the crowd. Guardado then fled the scene as the throng of people filled the parking lot.
A search for Guardado led Houston Police to find his truck a day later and arrest Guardado on September 19, 2016.
Prosecutors were prepared to go to trial and ask for the maximum sentence of life in prison, when Guardado pleaded guilty to aggravated assault of a family member causing serious bodily injury.
As part of the plea agreement, he asked state District Judge Hazel Jones to sentence him. After hearing all the evidence, Jones sentenced him to 20 years.
Under state law, he will not be eligible for parole until he has served at least half the sentence.