Houston Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Shooting Shoplifter in the Back

Houston Man Sentenced to 35 Years for Shooting Shoplifter in the Back
Antonio Batres

In a ruling late Friday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that Antonio Batres, 23, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the murder of 49-year-old Troy Odom. The incident occurred on Easter Sunday in 2022 at a Family Dollar Store located in the 4500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

During the five-day trial, the jury found Batres guilty of shooting Odom in the back as he attempted to leave the store. Odom, accused of shoplifting motor oil, was confronted by Batres and a co-worker, leading to a verbal argument that escalated into a physical altercation.

Surveillance footage revealed that the confrontation ended with Batres brandishing a semi-automatic pistol. Despite Odom complying and returning the stolen items, Batres followed him outside and fired a total of 12 shots, hitting Odom multiple times in his arms, legs, and torso.

Following the shooting, Batres went back inside the store and reported the theft to 911. During the call, he admitted that Odom was bleeding to death outside. The autopsy later revealed 15 gunshot wounds, indicating that Odom had attempted to defend himself as he was fatally shot.

Assistant District Attorney Heather Axline, who prosecuted the case alongside ADA Lindsey Pearson, emphasized that Odom was unarmed, not the initial aggressor, and was walking away when the fatal shots were fired.

Batres, convicted of murder, requested that the judge determine his punishment after the guilty verdict. The judge subsequently handed down a 35-year prison sentence. Batres must serve at least half of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg expressed concern over rising gun violence and stressed the severity of the case, stating, “Gun violence in Harris County is out of control because of situations like this in which someone thinks they can take a life because they are mad.”