HOUSTON – A permanent memorial now marks the spot where 29-year-old Moyses Arreguin was murdered. His blood has since been washed away, but Arreguin’s widow said Tuesday that a judge’s decision to let one of his killers go is reopening her family’s wounds.
“I don’t feel safe,” Arreguin’s widow said. She asked that her first name not be used. “I don’t feel safe at all.”
On July 27, 2018, the father of two tried to stop a robbery in his neighbor’s driveway a few houses down in the 19000 block of West Wardy. He was fatally shot in the back.
“Every day, my 5-year-old cries,” Arreguin’s widow said. “She knows what happened over there. She goes over there, talks to him, and it breaks my heart every day.”
Oscar Garcia was 16 at the time of the killing. He was sentenced to 11 years. On Monday, Garcia, who is now an adult, was released from a juvenile detention center on parole, instead of being transferred to the adult system to serve the rest of his sentence.
Arreguin’s widow said she still can’t wrap her head around Judge Natalia Oakes’ decision to let Garcia go.
“She just said, ‘It looks like he’s been good,” Arreguin’s widow said.
Victims’ advocate Andy Kahan said Oakes’ decision sends a dangerous message.
“If you’re a juvenile, you can essentially get away with murder because that’s what happened here,” Kahan said. “The adult offender who was the getaway driver, who did not fire a shot, is actually serving a 25-year sentence.”
Another minor convicted of Arreguin’s murder is still in a juvenile detention center.
Now that Garcia is out, Arreguin’s widow said she feels like she has been sentenced to a lifetime of fear.
“He knows where I am,” she said. “He knows where I live, and he admitted that he became a gang member yesterday.”
Oakes has not yet responded to several attempts to reach her for comment.