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Parole denied for gang member convicted for 1993 murders of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peńa

November 14, 2020 

State officials have denied parole for Venancio Medellin, the youngest of six gang members convicted of the vicious rapes and murders of Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peńa in 1993, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Saturday.

“Venancio Medellin was spared from a death sentence because of his age when he helped five other gang members rape, strangle and stomp Jennifer Ertman and Elizabeth Peńa to death on a hot summer night in Houston in 1993, but he should spend every day of the rest of his sentence locked up for everyone’s sake,” Ogg said.

Earlier this year, Ogg personally singed a letter to the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole protesting any possible release.

Medillin, now 41, has served 27 years of a 40-year sentence. He was sentenced under juvenile guidelines because of he was 14 at the time of the crime. His parole has already been denied 5 times.

Medellin and other members of the so-called Black and White gang were initiating a prospective member in a group fight across from T.C. Jester Park in Central Northwest Houston in June 1993. Ertman, 14, and Peńa, 16, walked by them while taking a shortcut home.

The girls, both students at Waltrip High School, were walking along railroad tracks in the dark in order to get home by their curfew. The gang took the girls into the nearby woods by White Oak Bayou where they were sexually assaulted then killed.

Five others were convicted of capital murder in the infamous Houston case.  Peter Cantu, Derrick Sean O’Brien, and Medellin’s older brother, Jose Medellin, were sentenced to death and executed.

Raul Villareal and Efrain Perez were also sentenced to death, but saw their punishment commuted to a life sentences because they were both 17 when the crime was committed.