A Texan who murdered a Houston
security guard and fled to Mexico, but was later captured and returned, has
been convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison, Harris County
District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.
“As the saying goes, ‘You can run,
but you can’t hide.’ We are grateful to everyone who had a role in bringing
this killer back home to Texas and finally delivering justice for this family,”
Jonathan Vasquez, 27, was convicted
of capital murder Thursday and automatically sentenced to life in prison
without parole for the robbery and murder of Saul Cruz on December 22, 2015.
Vasquez and Daniel Moreno, 26, who
has already been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for capital murder,
robbed and shot Cruz while he was in his patrol car at 4735 Anderson.
Cruz, who had been a security guard
for about a year, was working an overnight shift, when Vasquez and Moreno
ambushed him from behind and then ran away, around 4:10 a.m. Both of the men
fired at Cruz’s car.
Houston Police officers released
surveillance photos and video of the suspects the day of the shooting. Moreno
and Vasquez were identified as the suspects shortly thereafter by a tip to
Crime Stoppers of Houston. Moreno was arrested six days after the killing by Houston
Police homicide detectives.
Vasquez had fled to the border city
of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, where he was located in 2018, thanks to information
obtained by the Webb County Sheriff’s Office deputy, in the Texas city of
Mexican authorities then arrested
Vasquez, a US citizen, and handed him over at the bridge over the Rio Grande to
waiting members of the US Marshals Service Violent Offenders Task Force.
The elderly security guard had
emigrated from El Salvador and worked for years as a mechanic and at other jobs
despite his dream of being a police officer. When he finally got his U.S.
citizenship, he was too old to be a regular law enforcement officer, Instead,
he got a job as a security guard to help out where he could.
“We stand behind all of our first
responders, our law enforcement officers, and security guards as they tackle
some of the toughest jobs in our community,” Ogg said.
Assistant District Attorney Dave
Brucker, who prosecuted the case with ADA Natalia Leon, said the evidence showed
this was a senseless and sad criminal episode.
“It’s incredibly senseless, because
these two men were trying to rob him of a handgun and it’s so sad because of
the loss of life , the loss to his entire the family,” Brucker said after the