MS-13 gang member sentenced to 40 years for Missouri City murder of 16-year-old witness

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Thursday, November 11, 2021
Teen found dead near jogging trail in park
The teen victim was a witness to several gang-related murders when members shot at him 15 times at Buffalo Run Park five years ago.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An MS-13 gang member has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for his involvement in the killing of a 16-year-old who witnessed several murders.

Darwin Josue Lopez-Ramos pleaded guilty in the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Estuar Quinonez, in exchange for a 40-year prison sentence, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Authorities said that on June 13, 2016, several MS-13 members lured Quinonez to Buffalo Run Park in Missouri City, where he was shot more than 15 times as he sat on a bench.

The video above is from a June 2016 report on the Missouri City killing of Estuar Quinonez.

Quinonez was targeted as authorities say the teen had witnessed several gang-related murders. The district attorney's office said Quinonez's killers wanted to ensure he would never talk.

One of the murders Quinonez witnessed was that of Noe Mendez, a rival gang member who was shot by several MS-13 members. The gang's leader, 28-year-old Omar Torres was arrested for his role in Mendez's killing.

Quinonez later told police about Mendez's killing and agreed to testify against Torres.

"Cases like this show that gang members work together to rob, kill and terrorize their own members as well as regular citizens - they are a blight on our community and have to be held accountable," Ogg said.

Lopez-Ramos was not eligible for life in prison without parole or the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the crime.

Torres was sentenced in September for his part in Quinonez's killing


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