Baytown Woman Sentenced to 25 Years for Murder of Disabled Elderly Man

Baytown Woman Sentenced to 25 Years for Murder of Disabled Elderly Man
Alicia Keator

A Baytown woman, Alicia Keator, has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to murder for her involvement in the robbery and killing of a 65-year-old man who used a wheelchair. The sentencing was announced by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

John Henry Fernandez, known for his gentle and grandfatherly demeanor, was found on January 2, 2018, with his hands and feet bound and mouth taped shut. He had been suffocated in a tragic incident. Fernandez, who did not have family in the area and required daily assistance, had allowed Keator to move into his Baytown apartment more than a month before the murder in exchange for help with daily living activities.

Unfortunately, instead of providing the needed assistance, Keator permitted her boyfriend, Marcus Donnell Gilbert, also known as Skunk, to frequently visit. This ultimately led to the planned robbery and killing of Fernandez on Christmas Day in 2017.

Concerned neighbors alerted apartment management when Fernandez had not been heard from for several days, leading maintenance workers to discover his lifeless body locked inside his bedroom.

Both Keator and Gilbert were arrested by the Baytown Police Department and charged with capital murder for suffocating Fernandez, in addition to stealing his television, ATM card, and cellphone. Gilbert, 41, had previously pleaded guilty to murder, accepting a 60-year prison sentence. In contrast, Keator pleaded guilty without a plea agreement, opting to be sentenced by the judge following a punishment hearing.

During the hearing, it was revealed that Keator had provided critical evidence against her co-defendant and had agreed to testify against him, even without a promise of leniency. The judge took this cooperation into account, noting that without her full cooperation, Keator would have faced a much longer prison term.

Both Gilbert and Keator must serve at least half of their prison sentences before becoming eligible for parole.