A member of the Black Disciples street gang was sentenced to 80 years in prison late Thursday for shooting an innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire of a
gunfight at a Northside convenience store, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“Gang violence is usually gun violence, and it doesn’t just affect gang members,” Ogg said. “In this case, a completely innocent man crossing the street in a wheelchair
lost his life because of an indiscriminate and senseless gunfight.”
Cornelius Watson, 44, was convicted of murder by a Harris County jury earlier this week for the fatal shooting of 34-year-old Jarmel Jarmon-Joiner on Sept. 12, 2020.
The jury sentenced him to 80 years in prison late Friday. He must serve at least 30 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.
Watson and several gang members were hanging out at a convenience store about 2 a.m. in the 4400 block of the North Freeway service road after robbing a man earlier in
the evening. The man approached the gang members about being robbed and they began to beat him. As the beating progressed, Watson and another gang member went into the store, where they had hidden guns, and came out shooting.
Jarmon-Joiner, who was crossing the street at the same time, got caught in the crossfire and was shot in the torso. He died at the scene.
Assistant District Attorney Keaton Forcht, a chief in the Gangs Division of the DA’s Office, prosecuted the case with ADA Abraham Chopin. Forcht said Watson never took
responsibility for killing an innocent person while trying to kill someone else.
“The defendant testified that he did not respect the jury’s verdict and had no remorse for what he did,” Forcht said. “These guys were so deeply engaged in criminal activity
that taking someone’s life didn’t even concern them. They were completely indifferent to what they were doing.”
Forcht noted the victim was a loved and valuable part of a family and that his sister sat through the entire trial to ensure that her brother’s killer got justice.
The case against Watson’s co-defendant is pending.
Communications Division, Harris County District Attorney’s Office
1201 Franklin St.
Houston, TX 77002