HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Dickinson man will spend 20 years behind bars after authorities say he fatally shot a man outside a Webster gas station, the Harris County District Attorney's Office announced on Friday.
Christapher Jones, 30, was convicted of murder earlier this week for the shooting death of 37-year-old Richard Allen Powell on July 9, 2021, in a field behind a gas station in the 200 block of El Dorado Boulevard.
Authorities said Jones testified that he had been using methamphetamine in the days before the incident.
Jones faced life in prison after being convicted of murder, according to the DA's office. He chose to have his penalty decided by state District Judge Ana Martinez, who sentenced him to 20 years in jail on Wednesday.
"There was absolutely no reason that the defendant had to pull out a gun and start shooting," 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."
Authorities say Jones and Powell, who both took meth, drove to a gas station where they were well known.
Powell's car became bogged down in the mud in a field behind the gas station. Another man attempted to assist him in getting the vehicle out, but his vehicle became stuck as well. The building owner became enraged with both of them, and Jones was asked to assist in pulling both cars out with his truck.
Officials said Jones got into an argument with the others behind the gas station, pulled out a gun and threatened Powell and the others. Powell's mother arrived around that time to assist.
Powell attempted to move away from Jones and stated that he was going to call the police. Jones then shot Powell multiple times in the side and back as he turned and walked away. Powell died in his mother's arms at the scene.
The Houston Police Department investigated the incident.
"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," Assistant District Attorney Bryan 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."
Jones reportedly had a criminal record, including an assault as a juvenile, according to Honeycutt. He was free on a $100 bail when he committed the murder after being arrested for driving around with firearms, ammunition, and body armor in the same region.