HOUSTON – A Houston man who was convicted of fatally shooting his fiancée just three days after proposing to her was sentenced to life in prison, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Thursday.
Ogg said Kendrick Akins, 42, was convicted of murder on Oct. 21 and when the verdict was read, he passed out and had a seizure in the courtroom. The judge then postponed the punishment phase until this week. After a day of testimony, Ogg said a Harris County jury sentenced Akins on Wednesday to life in prison. The jury also reportedly found that Akins was a “true habitual offender” because of earlier violent crimes, according to a news release.
According to investigators, Akins and 33-year-old Dominic Jefferson got into an argument at their apartment in the 5500 block of Holly View Drive in northwest Houston on Jan. 4, 2020. Ogg said Akins had proposed over the New Year’s holiday. Three days later, they got into an argument about a message he had received on social media, and investigators said she called the engagement off. When Jefferson and a female friend tried to leave to pick up the friend’s boyfriend, Jefferson’s car would not start, police said.
Investigators said Akins started looking under the hood and trying to fix the car when Jefferson shouted at him to leave the vehicle and her alone. Ogg said they continued to argue and Akins pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot Jefferson in the chest from a few feet away. A witness reportedly heard the shot and came running to help, and Akins shot at the man. He then took his fiancée’s cell phone and fled the scene, authorities said.
“This man was an abuser with a string of domestic violence crimes that continued to escalate until he killed a woman,” Ogg said. “Unfortunately, Dominic Jefferson lost her life because he lost his temper.”
Further investigation determined Akins had previously been convicted of several offenses, including an aggravated assault against a woman in 2008 and in 2015 of felon in possession of a weapon and possession of methamphetamine. He went to prison for that case and was on parole when he committed the murder, Ogg said. Jurors also said they heard that Akins told people he put a loaded shotgun to a woman’s head as she slept and pulled the trigger, but the gun did not go off.
“I hope that the family feels justice was done because Dominic Jefferson was a daughter, sister and mother as well as a cousin and friend,” said Assistant District Attorney Anthony Osso, who prosecuted the case. “We were able to establish a trail of violent crimes going back almost 20 years in which Kendrick Akins was violent and abusive toward women, and we want to thank the jury for putting an end to that.”