Houston Man Sentenced to 55 Years for Murder in Club Parking Lot

Houston Man Sentenced to 55 Years for Murder in Club Parking Lot
Luis Alejandro Valencia

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Tuesday that Luis Alejandro Valencia, 28, has been sentenced to 55 years in prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for the murder of 29-year-old Erik Villeda. The incident took place in the parking lot of a club located in south Houston back in 2022.

“We are thankful to the jury who recognized that this defendant went to extraordinary lengths to find and then gun down an unarmed man in broad daylight,” Ogg said. “Justice mandates that this killer spend decades behind bars for taking the life of a young father and husband who should have lived to see his kids grow up.”

Valencia was convicted of murder and sentenced by a jury late Friday for shooting Villeda on Feb. 12, 2022. It is unclear exactly why Valencia decided to kill Villeda but testimony showed that Villeda and his wife were apparently having marital problems that Valencia found out about the day before the shooting.

The shooting occurred mid-day at a club in a shopping center on the 8500 block of the Gulf Freeway. Valencia approached Villeda while still in his car, wearing a cowboy hat and a face mask. Witnesses reported that Valencia initiated a conversation, revealing that he had been talking to Villeda’s wife, which angered Villeda. Without warning, Valencia pulled out a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and began shooting, hitting Villeda multiple times as he attempted to flee. Villeda was struck four times in the back and died at the scene.

Following the incident, Houston Police Department conducted an investigation, collecting evidence including surveillance footage from the bar and Valencia’s DNA left on the cowboy hat he left behind as he fled.

The next day, Valencia was apprehended at Bush Intercontinental Airport attempting to pass through security with two knives and 75 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Moreover, while in custody at the Harris County Jail, Valencia faced additional charges for attempting to escape by trying to dig his way out.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Figliuzzi, along with ADA Erandy Marquez, prosecuted the six-day murder trial. Figliuzzi emphasized the severity of Valencia’s actions, stating, “This murder was particularly heinous because he initiated the confrontation and then shot an unarmed man in the back multiple times. Our community is sick of gun violence, and this verdict, 55 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, shows that.”