A gang member was sentenced to 99 years in prison Tuesday after being convicted of shooting a man to death to gain higher rank in the MS-13 organization.
Jonathan Steven Guevara, 21, was convicted of the November 2015 murder of Hector Daniel Diaz, 28, who was gunned down after he jumped out of a sedan on Harwin Drive.
The 99 year sentence by the jury followed an eight-day trial in the 338th State District Court.
“The jury’s verdict and sentence on the case we presented speaks volumes about society’s judgment of this vicious behavior,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
“We will hold these gangs accountable, convict them of their crimes, and lock them away for decades,” she said.
Guevara and another member of the MS-13, Giovani Herrera, took turns shooting Diaz.
He was shot eight times, including at least once to the back of the head.
Herrera pleaded guilty in the case and awaits sentencing. The getaway driver awaits trial.
The case was a window to the violence that has been committed on Houston’s streets by MS-13 members.
The transnational gang started in Los Angeles with members being deported in the 1980s to Central America. Today it has a strong presence along the East and West coasts of the United States and in major cities such as Houston.
Diaz, the murder victim, was a construction worker from Honduras legally in the United States and had no criminal record.
Prosecutors said there was no evidence that prior to the night of the murder that he’d ever even spoken with his killers.
“Guevara brutally gunned down his victim, and four days later bought another gun, clearly ready to kill again, if not for his arrest,” Assistant District Attorney Lisa Collins said.
“We take MS-13 very seriously,“ said Collins, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Brittney Aaron.
The case was investigated as part of a joint effort by the Houston Police, FBI and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.