A Texas man was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday for a murder he committed five years ago, after he removed his ankle monitor that was a condition of probation for a previous crime.
Jordan Isaiha Lopez, 22, fatally shot Austin Balogun, 19, on July 5, 2018, during a robbery at Balogun’s home in Cypress, Texas, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said in a release.
“We are already dealing with rampant gun crime, and the situation gets worse when criminals can simply remove the ankle monitors they are supposed to wear as a condition of bond,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement Saturday. “It is a tragedy that a young man lost his life to someone who took advantage of the system to commit murder while free on bond.”
Lopez was holding Balogun at gunpoint after he and another suspect tied him up in his bedroom.
Balogun was able to get ahold of a gun and shot Lopez in the hand.
Lopez then fatally shot Balogun and fled the scene.
Lopez’s ankle monitor had been a condition of his bond following an attempted home invasion six months earlier.
Lopez’s lawyer Sam Cammack said he thought the sentence was too long.
“He was a 17-year-old kid that was influenced by his brother and I do believe he was defending himself,” Cammack said after the sentencing, according to the Dallas Morning News. “They found him guilty of murder, so he deserved something, but 35 years is a lot of time for a kid that was 17 when he did it.”
He was sentenced by District Judge Denise Collins after he was convicted by a jury.
Prosecutor Chris Condon added, “We appreciate the jury and the judge hearing all of the facts in this case and ensuring that we could get this guy off the street. We were honored to work with the victim’s mother to get justice for her and her son.”