Man who forced Houston halfway home counselor to drink rubbing alcohol sentenced for murder

Steve Campion Image
BySteve Campion KTRK logo
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Man charged with killing woman who dedicated her life to helping people.
ORIGINAL REPORT: Watch ABC13's original report from May 2018 on a killing that was described as a vicious murder.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A man convicted of killing an 82-year-old woman by forcing her to drink rubbing alcohol has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Jose Gonzalez pleaded guilty earlier this month. He was sentenced on July 1.

He was arrested in 2018 for the murder of Delores Hawkins, a long-time counselor who was found dead inside her burning home.

READ ORIGINAL REPORT: Man accused of killing beloved community leader by forcing her to drink rubbing alcohol

Hawkins ran a halfway house on Pagewood Lane on Houston's west side for 35 years. Her family said Gonzalez was one of the many lives she was trying to turn around.

After months of investigating, Gonzalez was ultimately charged with her murder. They said he forced Hawkins to drink rubbing alcohol then set her home on fire.

Hawkins' family said Gonzalez previously lived at the house. A neighbor said he acted as a handyman and even installed a new concrete driveway.

Police said Gonzalez was not living at the home at the time of the crime.

Hawkins was also a businesswoman who retired from Exxon to open up the halfway house, finding her calling as a counselor and mentor.

The video above is from the original ABC13 report on this case from May 2018.

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