HOUSTON – A Houston man was sentenced to life in prison for using a hammer to murder a woman he was having a relationship with in 2018, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.
After jurors convicted Luis Moron Romero, 40, of murder, they also heard that he was implicated in a second murder and gave him the maximum sentence.
“Once again, we see that an abusive relationship can easily escalate to murder, and that is why we take all allegations of domestic violence so seriously,” Ogg said. “Whatever you call it – domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse or intimate partner violence – it is all serious and can be deadly.”
Romero was arrested days after the death of 38-year-old Maria Marquez.
According to court documents, Marquez had gone to Romero’s apartment to end their relationship on Nov. 21, 2018. He later told police that he got angry with her and hit her in the head at least six times with a hammer.
Romero was caught on surveillance video putting the woman’s body, which he had wrapped in carpeting, into her own truck. He then drove the vehicle to a nearby vacant lot and abandoned it, according to police.
Authorities found Marquez’s body in the truck later that night. Detectives with the Houston Police Department used her cellphone data to show that she had been to Romero’s apartment complex. They checked surveillance video, which showed her going into the apartment and then Romero leaving with the body in a carpet roll. When confronted with the video, Romero admitted his involvement.
After he was arrested, a tipster called the police and linked him to a second murder that was similar but happened before he killed Marquez. In February 2017, investigators said Romero stabbed 56-year-old Guillermo Gonzalez in Pasadena, then put his body into the victim’s car and drove it to an abandoned car wash near Romero’s home at the time.
Pasadena police said they took samples of DNA from the victim, which matched Romero’s DNA.
Assistant District Attorney Anthony Osso, who prosecuted the case with ADA Michael Hanover, said the killings were a “real-life horror story.”
“This murder was horrific and she did not deserve to die like this,” Osso said. “She had three daughters, she had grandkids, and she was a really family-oriented person.”