May 2, 2018
HOUSTON- The man responsible for the 2017 murder of his girlfriend in front of her children was sentenced to 50 years in prison this week.
Albee Lewis, 32, pleaded to the 50 year sentence on Wednesday, admitting he shot and killed 32-year-old Ashanti Hunter after an argument at the couple’s north Harris County apartment.
Debra Wright, Hunter’s mother, delivered an emotional impact statement during the sentencing hearing, describing her disbelief.
“I had taken him in as my son, so I had never seen that part in him…I was shocked. I couldn’t understand it,” Wright said.
Hunter was attempting to escape Lewis when she sat in an SUV with her three children and was shot five times by her long-time boyfriend.
“There was a history of abuse in their relationship,” Assistant District Attorney and Family Criminal Law Division Chief Carvana Cloud said. “So many victims of domestic violence suffer continuous abuse and for various reasons don’t leave. But this case was the impetus for the overhaul in our approach to prosecuting domestic violence cases in Harris County.”
In 2017, not long after Hunter’s death, Cloud spearheaded a taskforce of law enforcement agencies across the county that focus on identifying even the slightest signs of abuse.
“Harris County leads the state in domestic violence homicides,” Cloud said. “It’s important that we immediately recognize when someone is in danger and then take steps to ensure their safety.”
With the plea to murder, Lewis elected to forego trial. A judge accepted the plea.