Woman who gunned down ex-boyfriend in Houston gym parking lot in 2016 sentenced to life in prison

HOUSTON – A woman who chased and gunned down an ex-boyfriend in a southwest Houston gym parking lot May 17, 2016, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison.

Veronica Staley pleaded guilty to murdering Alijosa Memovic in the parking lot of One 2 One Training Center in the 6300 block of Fairdale. Staley admitted to investigators her role in Memovic's death, police said.

Investigators said Memovic parked his car in a lot on the other side of the building and walked up to Staley's car and shot him.

Investigators said Staley chased Memovic across the parking lot until he collapsed, then fired at least two more shots at him. Apparently out of ammunition, police said she then used the gun to pistol-whip him before sprinting back to her car and speeding away.

The infamous cellphone video captured by a witness showed Staley running away from the scene in gym clothes.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Bard said it was rare to see the kind of support there was for the victim and his family. Memovic's family had waited years for this moment.

"I had hoped today's outcome was life -- I truly thought that this was a heinous offense," Bard said.

The courtroom was crowded with supporters and his family as they waited to hear Staley sentencing.

"It's been a tough two years for them. Al was the life of the party. I think the quote said in my closing was that there were two kinds of people in this world -- the people who knew him and the friends he hadn't met yet," Bard said.

Prosecutors argued that she had no remorse.

"She had planned this out. She tried to cover it up. She yoga'ed (sic) and sunbathed after having executed him in a parking lot," Bard said.

It was also revealed she had THC in her system when the shooting happened. The defense argued that she was bipolar.

"I do believe she has a mental illness. I do not believe that she should use that to justify her actions for that day," Bard said.

The prosecution said Memovic's family can now rest.

"I want them to continue the grieving process," Bard said.

About the Author: