A Houston man was sentenced
to life in prison this week for a 45-minute crime spree that involved
shooting four men, three of whom died, and a 20-mile police chase,
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced
“It is heartbreaking that a
madman with a gun and a stolen car can kill three people and absolutely
devastate their families in a matter of minutes,” Ogg said. “Life in
prison is absolutely the right result.”
Joshua Kelsey, 37, was
convicted Thursday. He shot Louis Hodges around 8:15 p.m. on May 6,
2020. Hodges and another man, who both knew Kelsey well, had picked him
up to help them buy drugs. They drove Kelsey to a
house in southwest Houston and gave him $40 to buy heroin. He went in
and returned about 20 minutes later without the drugs or the money. A
witness testified that he seemed “high.”
Hodges and the other man,
who were in a silver Kia sedan, drove Kelsey about half a block,
stopping in a parking lot in the 14200 block of Bridgeport. When they
stopped, Kelsey pulled out a pink pistol and threatened
both men, who got out of the car and tried to run away.
He fired at least eight
times. He hit Hodges, who fell, and shot the other man three times as he
ran away. Kelsey then stood above Hodges and shot him in the chest. The
other man ran to a nearby house, where the
homeowners called the Houston Police Department. A witness testified
that Kelsey was angry at Hodges for an incident the day before in which
Hodges was apparently careless with a small bag of heroin.
Kelsey then took the car to
a house in the 5200 block of Kelling Street, the home of his friend,
Michael Miller, who had let Kelsey store his RV in 2016. However, Kelsey
seemed to have abandoned the RV and could
not be reached for six months, so Miller had it hauled away.
Minutes after the first
shooting, Kelsey knocked on the front door and fatally shot Miller when
he answered, according to Miller’s longtime partner. She told
investigators that Kelsey blamed Miller for getting rid
of the RV, which, Kelsey believed, led to him becoming homeless.
Kelsey fled and went to a
house in the 13500 block of Hooper Road, where an old acquaintance named
Juan Garcia lived. When Garcia answered the door, Kelsey said, “I’ve
got something for you” and fatally shot him,
according to two witnesses who were at the house. It was unclear why
Kelsey held a grudge against Garcia.
Kelsey left in the stolen Kia and was arrested about seven hours later, after a 20-mile police chase that ended in Sugar Land.
“This is a guy who has
never accepted any responsibility for his actions, and he made a plan to
kill people who he held grudges against,” said Assistant District
Attorney Sean Teare, who prosecuted the case with
ADA David Brucker. “He had deep-seated anger and hatred for these
people. He has to be locked away for as long as possible because who
knows who else he may have grudges against.”
A Harris County jury found Kelsey guilty of all three murders, and he was sentenced to life in prison.