HOUSTON – A 61-year-old man called a “career criminal” was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for the 2018 murder of a nightclub owner, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday.
Angel Luis Mexico was convicted Tuesday of murder by a Harris County jury after a seven-day trial, Ogg said. After the guilty verdict, Mexico opted to have the judge decide his punishment. State District Judge Kristin Guiney heard testimony from several witnesses, including Mexico, and then sentenced him to life in prison, according to a news release.
Investigators said Mexico ambushed 42-year-old Lamonte Bush on June 29, 2018 while he was standing outside the nightclub that he owned on Wayside. At the time of the attack, Bush was leaning into the window of a car, talking to his wife and daughter, who was 9 years old, Ogg said. Mexico approached Bush from behind and shot him in the back of the head, authorities said.
Testimony throughout the trial showed that Mexico had a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for domestic violence beginning in the 1980s, Ogg said. According to the DA, Mexico is a Cuban national who testified that he was one of the criminals then-President Fidel Castro released from prison in 1980 who emigrated to the United States.
Investigators said in 1981, Mexico was sent to prison for stabbing a woman in Minnesota. When he was released, Ogg said he moved to Texas and was convicted of robbery in 1983. In 1987, he shot at two police officers after robbing a convenience store and was convicted of attempted capital murder and sentenced to 25 years, the release stated. After he was released, he was in and out of jail several times for violent acts before Bush’s murder.
“Lamonte was well-known and well-liked in the neighborhood, and he was in front of the lounge that he had just opened a few months earlier,” Assistant District Attorney Amanda Benavides said. “Mexico knew that Lamonte had been involved with his adult daughter in the past and did not approve of it.”
Assistant District Attorney Sepi Zimmer said that Bush’s daughter was sitting in the front seat of her mother’s car talking to her father when she saw Mexico shoot him. The child identified Mexico in court.
“It’s been a really, really hard five years on the family, especially for the victim’s daughter, who knew she would have to testify,” Zimmer said. “They have been waiting for this case to end, so they are grateful to the jury that diligently reviewed the evidence to find him guilty and to the judge for sentencing him to life. Now they can move on with their lives.”