Mastermind of Fatal Ambush That Killed 11-year-old Boy and Stepfather Sentenced to Life without Parole

Mastermind of Fatal Ambush That Killed 11-year-old Boy and Stepfather Sentenced to Life without Parole
Dewayne Batiste

Dewayne Batiste, 43, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for orchestrating a fatal ambush that claimed the lives of an 11-year-old boy, Dominic Sumicek, and his 41-year-old stepfather, Menuell Solomon, in 2020. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced the sentencing, expressing gratitude to the jurors for their decision.

“This defendant’s intentions were clear: he wanted to commit murder and was trying to hide behind the triggerman who killed an innocent man and a little boy in broad daylight,” Ogg said. “We are grateful to the jurors who agreed that a capital murder conviction is the right result because it means this man can never again threaten our community.”

Batiste was convicted of capital murder for his role in the attack, which occurred as Sumicek and Solomon sat in their car outside their home on October 26, 2020. Batiste is the second individual to be convicted in connection to the ambush.

Prior to the shooting, Solomon had reported to the police an attempted armed robbery, during which he was shot at while parking his car. Prosecutors believe Batiste was behind this incident and arranged for Solomon’s murder to avoid accountability.

Batiste, along with a documented gang member named Desmond Hawkins, waited for Solomon at an apartment complex for several hours before carrying out the attack. Hawkins, the triggerman, fatally shot Sumicek and Solomon within 49 seconds of their arrival home.

Hawkins, who was on bond for another capital murder case, was arrested shortly after the attack. Batiste was later arrested as detectives investigated the motive behind the ambush.

While Batiste and Hawkins have been convicted, investigators believe three other individuals are linked to the armed robbery and subsequent attack. The public is urged to provide any information on these individuals to authorities.

Following a five-day trial, Batiste was found guilty of capital murder and automatically sentenced to life in prison without parole. Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Condon and Elizabeth Liberman prosecuted the case, crediting the Houston Police Department for their efforts in identifying and arresting the perpetrators.

“We believe that the murders were clean-up for the earlier attempted aggravated robbery, and Dewayne Batiste tried to wrap himself in a cloak of deniability—he made sure he stayed hidden and had someone else do his dirty work for him,” Condon said. “At the end of the day, if not for the actions of Dewayne Batiste, 11-year-old Dominic Sumicek would now be a freshman in high school.”