Richmond, TX – Sheldon Wilfred Vashawn Magee was convicted
of Murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison by a Fort Bend County jury last
week. The 48 year-old Houston man was
charged with the shooting death of his girlfriend in 2019.
According to Chief Domestic Violence Prosecutor Sunni
Mitchell, the manager of a Sugar Land hotel called 911 on August 11, 2019 after
being notified by a hotel guest about a man that had a woman by her shirt who
was crying and struggling to get away in the parking lot. The hotel manager
testified she went outside to find the woman, later identified as Kiva Herrera,
sitting on the ground with her hands together as if in prayer. The hotel
manager asked if everything was okay and Magee said they were having a
“misunderstanding.” The hotel manager said the woman looked terrified, so the
manager backed away and called the police.
Two eyewitnesses also observed the defendant holding the woman by the
shirt while holding a pistol. Both testified that they saw Magee point the gun
at his victim and shoot her, then casually walk away as if nothing happened.
As police arrived on the scene, a shot rang out and the
manager told dispatchers that the man had a gun. Sugar Land Officer Dixon saw
Magee pointing a gun at him and shots were exchanged before the defendant ran
around the corner of the hotel. There
officers observed the defendant laying catatonic in the grass where he was
detained. As Magee was brought to the
patrol vehicle, he broke away from the officers and jumped into a lake next to
the hotel. The defendant was quickly apprehended.
The jury also heard testimony that Magee and his victim had
been in a dating relationship until the woman ended their relationship just
days prior. The victim did not return to the couple’s shared apartment, and
once the defendant found the victim’s vehicle at a hotel, he stalked her for
days leading up to her murder.
“Kiva Herrera was a courageous woman who walked away from an
abusive relationship. The defendant stalked and terrorized Ms. Herrera as she tried
to begin a life without him and he ultimately murdered the woman he claimed to
love,” said Mitchell. “The jury’s
verdict ensures that Sheldon Magee will never be able to harm someone else
while also sending a clear message that domestic violence will not be tolerated
in this community.”
Evidence revealed the details of one of the last text
messages that the victim sent to the defendant. The text message read: “God has
revealed so much to me. He has also strengthened me! Strengthened me to know my
worth! Strengthened me to walk away and never return to an abusive person such
as yourself. You a 45 year old man and your choice in life is to now stalk me.
Where do you think that will end up for you? I’m taking every steps with the
law legally to protect myself and eventually justice will be served.”
District Attorney Brian Middleton commented, “Too often
domestic abuse ends in senseless tragedy. We honored the victim’s request and
held Sheldon Magee accountable for his depraved, heartless, selfish actions.
The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to ending
domestic violence and will continue to hold perpetrators accountable.”
The case was tried in the 434th District Court before
Presiding Judge J. Christian Becerra.
Murder is a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life, in
prison and a fine up to $10,000. Magee
was not eligible for probation and must serve at least half of his sentence
before being considered for parole.
Assistant District Attorneys Sunni Mitchell and Lauren Valenti tried the
Fort Bend County has resources to support victims and
survivors of domestic violence. The
number to the Fort Bend County Women’s Center Crisis Hotline is (281) 342-HELP
(4357) and the toll free number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is
1-800-799-7233. If you or somebody you
know is a victim of domestic violence, they are not alone and they do not need
to suffer in silence.