Houston Man Sentenced to 90 Years for Double Murder of Ex-Wife and Former Co-Worker

Houston Man Sentenced to 90 Years for Double Murder of Ex-Wife and Former Co-Worker
Russell Cormier

Russell Cormier, a 60-year-old Houston man, has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for the murder of two people and the injury of another, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced this week.

“Our prosecutors work hard to bring cases like this to trial to get justice for victims’ families who should not have to wait this long,” Ogg said. “This defendant played every game in the book to delay trial, but he was finally held accountable for his actions, and now, hopefully, the victims and families of the victims can move past this horrible episode.”

Cormier’s crime spree unfolded across northeast Houston, resulting in the deaths of his ex-wife and a former co-worker. The incident occurred on April 17, 2017, when Cormier fatally shot his ex-wife, 61-year-old Fannie McWhite, outside her home on Greencanyon Drive during a confrontation. Cormier has been divorced from McWhite for four years, but he was upset that she went on a cruise.

Following the murder, Cormier proceeded to his trailer home, set it on fire, and then drove to a business on Kindred Street, where he shot and killed his former co-worker, 60-year-old Thornton Bivens. The following day, Cormier returned to his burned-out trailer and wounded a neighbor with a shotgun.

Although the victims were not connected, Cormier had grievances with each of them. Assistant District Attorneys Sepi Zimmer and Bryan Honeycutt prosecuted the case, emphasizing Cormier’s dangerousness to the community.

“We are grateful that the jury agreed that this man is extremely dangerous to our community and deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison,” Zimmer said. “He had a mental list of people he was going to kill, and the people who are still alive should be able to live their lives in safety and without fear.”