A 61-year-old repeat offender was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for fatally shooting a nightclub owner in 2018, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“This was a violent and tragic ambush of a father and an entrepreneur,” Ogg said. “We have worked for five years to get justice for this victim’s family, and this was the right result.”
Angel Luis Mexico, 61, was convicted Tuesday of murder by a Harris County jury after seven days of trial. After the guilty verdict, the defendant 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.
Mexico ambushed 42-year-old Lamonte Bush on June 29, 2018. Bush was standing outside the nightclub that he owned on Wayside, talking to his wife and 9-year-old daughter. His wife and daughter were in a parked car, and Bush was leaning into the window of the car talking to them. Mexico approached from behind and shot him in the back of the head.
Testimony throughout the trial showed that Mexico had a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for domestic violence beginning in the 1980s. Mexico is a Cuban national who testified that he was one of the criminals then-President Fidel Castro released from prison in 1980 who immigrated to the United States.
In 1981, he was sent to prison for stabbing a woman in Minnesota. When he was released, he moved to Texas and was convicted of robbery in 1983. In 1987, he fired at two police officers after robbing a convenience store and was convicted of attempted capital murder and sentenced to 25 years. After he was released, he was in and out of jail several times for violent acts before ultimately killing Bush.
Assistant District Attorney Amanda Benavides, who prosecuted the case with ADA Sepi Zimmer, said the victim was an attentive father and a conscientious small-business owner.
“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,” Benavides said. “Angel Mexico knew that Lamonte had been involved with his adult daughter in the past and did not approve of it.”
Zimmer noted that Bush’s daughter, who was 9 years old and sitting in the front seat of her mother’s car talking to her father when she saw Mexico shoot him, had to identify the killer 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.