February 21, 2019
A Houston man who was sent to prison a generation ago for murder, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the death of a woman he shot from his balcony with a rifle in 2016.
A jury took twelve minutes to sentence M. L. Burks after having found him guilty of shooting Rhonda Ozoeze, who was paralyzed by the shooting and died nine months later in a San Antonio hospital.
“This guy hunted Rhonda down and there is now justice for what he did,” Assistant District Attorney Preston Burns said. “With this sentence, he should never again be a threat to our community.”
Burks, 61, was convicted of murder in 1984 and sentenced to 10 years for killing another man, Marcus Toran, who was shot to death in a Houston park.With the latest verdict, Burks remains in custody and next faces being shipped to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. He has to serve at least 30 years before being eligible for parole.
Burks shot Ozoeze in the back using a rifle with a scope. He was perched 100 yards away.
The trial was held in the 179th District Court and lasted four days.Burks was prosecuted by Burns and Assistant District Attorney Allen Otto.