HOUSTON – A man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for killing his former classmate for $250 during a gun transfer in northeast Houston, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Thursday.
Jesse Quinones, 22, pleaded guilty to murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of 17-year-old Patrick Aldape on April 13, 2017.
Quinones was 17 at the time of the shooting and agreed to plead guilty to murder instead of capital murder, where he could have faced life in prison with a possibility of parole after 40 years. He must serve at least half the sentence before he becomes eligible for parole, officials said.
“It is obvious we have an epidemic of gun violence when teenagers are shooting each other over money while exchanging guns,” Ogg said. “Getting justice for the family of the victim in a case like this, which has been pending for years, is exactly the reason we recently created the Homicide Division of our office and staffed it with some of our best prosecutors.”
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According to the Harris County DA’s Office, Quinones, who was a student attending ACE (Accelerated Center-Education), reportedly brought a 9mm gun to a meeting with Aldape in a cul-de-sac located in the 500 block of Slumberwood in northeast Houston. Quinones was also working on a shotgun that apparently belonged to Aldape.
Both teens met, and Quinones gave back the shotgun, wrapped in a towel, to Aldape. That was when the DA’s office said Aldape reminded Quinones that he owed him $250 for the work.
Quinones then apparently told Aldape that he “needed to go get the money.” Instead, he drove a couple of blocks away, loaded the 9mm gun, and returned to the cul-de-sac.
When Aldape walked up to the driver’s side of Quinones’ vehicle, Quinones rolled down his window, pointed his gun at Aldape, and fired at him several times.
He told investigators that he continued to shoot because Aldape was “screaming and I had to finish it.”
Quinones fled the scene, wrecking his car a mile and a half away from the shooting scene. He abandoned his vehicle, where he left the gun behind.
The DA’s office said an unknown woman, who was with Aldape at the time of the shooting, took him to an area hospital where he later died. She tossed the shotgun into a bush, where it was later recovered by police.
Several days later, Quinones went to a Houston Police Department storefront, where he confessed to his role in the shooting.