HOUSTON – A man who fatally shot a homeless man in 2017 was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.
Jamin Kidron Stocker, 37, was convicted Tuesday afternoon following a week-long trial.
In August 2017, Stocker shot homeless man Brent Tapp, 67, in the leg from his second-floor balcony at a condominium in the 1300 block of Rosewood, authorities said. After Tapp reported the shooting to police, Stocker fled from his home and went on the run. Police searched Stocker’s condo and confiscated several stolen guns, including a .22 caliber rifle with a scope and a homemade silencer. Police also found a stockpile of .45 caliber bullets but did not locate a .45 caliber gun.
A warrant for Stocker was issued on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Two months later, Tapp was gunned down in the same parking lot where he had been shot in August. Police found bullet casings at the scene that matched the .45 caliber bullets found in Stocker’s home, authorities said.
Stocker was arrested three months later and charged with capital murder. Authorities said Stocker was charged for shooting Tapp in retaliation for reporting him to the police and for obstruction to prevent Tapp from testifying against him.
“Making a homemade silencer and buying a scope to shoot a rifle from a balcony, like in this case, is not an act of impulse,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “There was planning and premeditation, and the fact that Mr. Stocker returned to the scene, months later, for a cold and calculated murder of the man who would have testified against him, is appalling.”
Evidence presented at the trial showed that Stocker admitted to the initial shooting in messages found on his phone. Ballistics from the murder scene matched the .45 caliber pistol that Stocker was found with when he was arrested.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Bard, who said the jurors made the right decision.
“The victim may have been homeless, but everyone deserves justice,” she said. “He was executed for reporting he was the victim of a crime.”
During the investigation into Stocker, police determined that the .22 caliber rifle, which Stocker bought in 2015, was the same gun used to kill a woman in March 2016. Charlotte Walker was riding her bike down the street in the 2700 block of Sampson when she was fatally shot. Stocker remains charged with murder in that case.