Judge sets $600K bond for 17-year-old accused of killing grandmother during Memorial-area carjacking

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Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Teen given $600K bond after allegedly killing woman during carjacking
Owen Leonardo Vilanova-Ardon, 17, was given a $600,000 bond after allegedly killing Judy Walters during a carjacking in the Memorial area last month.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A 17-year-old faced a judge on Monday after being accused of killing a 65-year-old woman during a carjacking in the Memorial area on Valentine's Day, according to court records.

Owen Leonardo Vilanova-Ardon was arrested on March 14 and charged with capital murder for Judy Walters' death.

On Monday, the judge set Vilanova-Ardon's bond at $600,000 after waiving his initial court appearance last week and ordering him to be held without bond.

WATCH: 17-year-old charged with capital murder in death of grandmother shot during carjacking

While another suspect is still on the run, the recent arrest that's brought relief to the victim's family.

The family of the grandmother, who was shot and run over, said it was very emotional to see the face of her accused killer in court.

Walters' daughter-in-law, Ashley Sivek, said she remembers her as a kind person who worked hard to take care of her two grandchildren.

"It just tears me apart because I'll never forget her laugh. I'll never forget...I'll never forget her voice. Anytime anybody's going through anything, she is there to comfort them," Sivek said.

Prosecutors said Vilanova-Ardon claimed a second suspect pulled the trigger, but they believe he was the gunman.

Authorities are still searching for that second suspect captured on surveillance video.

SEE ALSO: HPD releases surveillance footage of suspects in stolen vehicle after 65-year-old woman killed

Surveillance video released by Houston police last month shows the moment two suspects left the apartment complex in Walters' SUV after allegedly shooting her to death and then running her over.

The deadly carjacking happened on Feb. 14 in the 800 block of Yorkchester Drive just before 8 a.m.

Investigators said they believe Vilanova-Ardon and his accomplice waited for Walters for at least eight hours, leading police to suspect she was targeted.

Witnesses told ABC13 they heard one gunshot and saw Walters being pulled out of her 2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse SUV.

The day after she was killed, Walters' SUV was found in the abandoned Sugar Hill Golf Course's empty garage at 11996 Bissonnet St., which is about 10 miles away from where Walters died, according to police.

"They need a life (sentence). The max penalty they can get regardless of who it was because it's not like she was going to fight back, it's not like she knew it was coming," Walters' grandson, Hunter, who was living with her at the time, said when Vilanova-Ardon was arrested last week.

"They didn't want her money. They didn't want her purse. They didn't want her car. They didn't want her rings, jewelry, or laptop. They wanted her life, and we want theirs," Walter's son said in a previous report.

Neither police nor court documents have revealed a possible motive at this time, but police said the suspects might have been involved in some disagreement with Walters before her murder.

RELATED: Police find woman's stolen car after she was fatally shot, run over during carjacking, police say

A GoFundMe was set up to help Walter's grandson, whom she was raising, and to assist with funeral expenses.

Anyone with information on the identity or whereabouts of the wanted suspect is urged to contact the Houston Police Department Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or speak anonymously with Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

READ MORE: Only on 13: Family argument took place 2 days before 65-year-old killed, son says