HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A Dickinson man who shot and killed another man behind a Webster gas station in 2021 has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Christapher Jones, 30, was convicted of murder by a Harris County jury earlier this week for the shooting death of 37-year-old Richard Allen Powell in a field behind a gas station in the 200 block of Eldorado Boulevard in Webster on July 9, 2021.
Jones was facing the possibility of life in prison. He opted to have his punishment determined by state District Judge Ana Martinez, who sentenced him to 20 years in prison on Wednesday.
The district attorney’s office said Jones and Powell, who both used methamphetamine, had each driven to the gas station, where they were well known.
Powell got his car stuck in the mud in a field behind the gas station. Another man tried to help him get the car out, but his vehicle also got stuck. The owner of the building then got upset with both of them, and Jones was asked to help pull both of the cars out with his truck.
Jones was armed with a handgun and testified that he had been using methamphetamine and sleeping in his truck in the days before the murder.
Jones began arguing with the other people behind the gas station, pulled out his gun and threatened Powell and the others. About that time, Powell’s elderly mother showed up to help.
The district attorney’s office said Powell tried to walk away from Jones and said he was going to call the police. As he turned and was walking away, Jones shot Powell several times in the side and back. Powell died there in his mother’s arms.
“There was absolutely no reason that the defendant had to pull out a gun and start shooting,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “Gun violence in our community is an epidemic, and we will continue to prioritize seeking justice for the families of victims of senseless gun murders.”
The Houston Police Department investigated the case.
Assistant District Attorney Bryan Honeycutt, a chief in the DA’s trial division, and ADA Tieranee Jones prosecuted Jones in an eight-day trial.
“This defendant killed a father, who leaves behind three children who will never see their dad again and an elderly mother who misses her son every day of her life,” Honeycutt said. “This is what happens when you mix drugs, a short temper and guns. In addition to the murder weapon—a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun—he had a short-barrel shotgun, an assault rifle and more than 1,000 rounds of ammo.”
Honeycutt said that Jones also had a criminal record including an assault when he was a juvenile. When he committed the murder, he was free on a $100 bond after being arrested for driving around with guns, ammo and body armor in the same area.
“We knew this guy was dangerous,” he said. “We’re grateful the jury saw through his lying and manipulation and that it wasn’t self-defense.”