Katy Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for 2021 Murder in Houston’s Energy Corridor

Katy Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for 2021 Murder in Houston’s Energy Corridor
Derek Singleton

In an announcement made by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, a Katy man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for a murder that occurred in 2021 at a motel in Houston’s Energy Corridor.

Victim: Eric Soniat

Derek Maurice Singleton, 25, pleaded guilty to murder just before his trial was set to begin. The charges were related to the shooting death of 22-year-old Eric Soniat on April 2, 2021. The incident took place in the parking lot of a motel in the 14800 block of Park Row around 6 p.m. Singleton had met with Soniat and another individual to purchase a bag of marijuana, but without warning, he opened fire, striking both men multiple times. Tragically, Soniat lost his life in the shooting, while the other man survived and later provided information to the police.

Singleton had been scheduled for trial this week, but he opted to plead guilty in exchange for a 50-year prison sentence instead of facing a possible life sentence. Under the terms of the agreement, Singleton is not permitted to appeal his conviction or the imposed sentence. He will be required to serve at least half of the 50-year term before becoming eligible for parole.

Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Raygor and Megan Long, both of whom work in the DA’s Homicide Division, handled the case. Long expressed her shock at Singleton’s actions, stating, “This defendant’s callous disregard for human life is just appalling. He shot both men several times for no reason at all.”

District Attorney Kim Ogg voiced her concerns about such incidents, saying, “Unfortunately, we see cases like this far too often in which someone pulls a gun and starts shooting without any regard for the consequences. We were ready to go to trial when this defendant accepted responsibility for what he did, and hopefully seeing justice served in this case will give this young man’s family some closure.”