Houston Man Sentenced to Life for Parking Lot Murder

Houston Man Sentenced to Life for Parking Lot Murder
Ethan Caleb Thomas

A Houston man has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a parking-lot sweeping truck driver during an armed robbery in 2022, announced Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Ethan Caleb Thomas, 22, pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for a life sentence for killing 50-year-old Jose Canales on February 11, 2022. Canales, a husband and father, was fatally shot while performing his job.

The incident occurred in a parking lot in the 19500 block of Tomball Parkway, where Canales was cleaning debris between cars. Thomas and another unidentified suspect approached Canales in a silver Mercedes SUV, wearing ski masks. Surveillance footage shows Thomas confronting Canales, ultimately striking him with a pistol and fatally shooting him.

Despite efforts to identify the suspects, only Thomas was apprehended. Investigators utilized surveillance footage and cellphone records to track Thomas, leading to his arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Maroun Koutani highlighted Canales’ dedication to his job and community, contrasting it with Thomas’ actions.

Thomas initially faced a capital murder charge but opted to plead guilty to murder, receiving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. The plea agreement bars him from appealing the conviction or sentence.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation to apprehend the second suspect involved in Canales’ murder.