Man convicted of murdering HPD Sgt. Bruno Soboleski in 1991 receives life in prison during resentencing hearing: DA

HOUSTON – A man convicted in the fatal shooting of Houston police Sgt. Bruno Soboleski in 1991 has been sentenced to life in prison during his resentencing hearing Wednesday, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

“We do understand that this was the best we were going to get in this case. This is the best end result we were going to get,” Sue Soboleski, Sgt. Bruno’s widow said.

Harris County prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Shelton Denoria Jones in the court-ordered resentencing. More than a dozen witnesses have died or been declared incompetent since the original trial, so getting the death penalty would not have been assured.

“It would only be fair that it would be a life for a life. Even as I said, his evil one for my husband’s good one. Not that it’s a fair trade by any chance, but yes, we did want the death penalty,” Sue said.

The retrial was ruled only for punishment, according to prosecutors. The federal court ruled that a new sentencing hearing was appropriate due to a jury charge error.

Under the laws that existed in 1991, the defendant could be eligible for parole.

“We put police officers in harm’s way to protect us from violence, and it is our duty to forever protect society from this killer,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Sgt. Soboleski’s family was forever changed by this horrific attack, and no matter how long it takes, Jones deserves the ultimate punishment.”

Jones fatally shot Sgt. Bruno in April 1991 while the officer was on duty and with a grand jury foreperson who was on a ride along and was uninjured.

“This is as close to justice as this family will get and that’s the most we can do. It doesn’t mean it’s enough,” Ogg said.

Under the plea deal, Jones waived all of his legal rights while agreeing to never appeal the sentence or seek a pardon. If he does, he can be retried for capital murder.


About the Author:

Award-winning journalist, mother, YouTuber, social media guru, millennial, mentor, storyteller, University of Houston alumna and Houston-native.