Teen, 13, charged with capital murder in clerk's death during robbery in Montgomery County


Sadruddin was gunned down March 24 during a robbery at the Z.P. Mart Shell, where he worked.

"Sam was a wonderful person. The store's been in this community for 20-plus years," Sadruddin's friend, Terri Street, said.

Several days after the crime, authorities identified 19-year-old Joseph Gutierrez and a 13-year-old as suspects in the murder.

Detectives allege Gutierrez shot and killed Sadruddin during the robbery, but believe the 13-year-old also was a willing participant in the robbery. As a result, the Montgomery County Attorney's Office filed a capital murder charge against the young teen.

"It is unusual. We could have charged him with murder or felony murder or capital murder. Because of the circumstances, and just how egregious this case was, we've chosen to file capital murder charges against him," Montgomery County Attorney J D Lambright told Eyewitness News.

Because the juvenile is below the age of 14, he will not be tried as an adult and cannot face the death penalty. But if he is convicted in juvenile court, he could be sentenced to as many as 40 years in prison. The 13-year-old would begin serving his sentence in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department until around his 19th birthday. At that time, the juvenile court would determine whether he should be discharged, released on parole or continue serving the remainder of his sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

"My juvenile prosecution team and I will be meeting with Mr. Sadruddin's family to discuss the case. We want to ensure that they understand our options and that we take their desires into consideration," Lambright said in a prepared statement.

Life has the store has not been the same, but customers say Thursday's news is a step towards justice.

"Well, he committed a crime so he needs to pay for it. He took a very important life. Sam's family needs justice and so does this community," Street said.

The 13-year-old had been held on a probation violation from another crime before the murder.

Gutierrez also is charged with capital murder. The DA's office is handling his case.

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