42-year-old man sentenced to 50 years in prison for wife's murder in 2020

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SPRING, Texas (KTRK) -- A man will spend 50 years behind bars after pleading guilty on Wednesday to killing his wife nearly four years ago, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Ralph Leroy Cooper, 42, pleaded guilty to allegedly shooting his wife, 43-year-old Rhonda Rochelle Williams, on Aug. 25, 2020.

"No child should lose their mother to domestic violence, and that is why we take any case of violence against women so seriously," Ogg said. "We know that violence escalates, like in this case, where the defendant committed at least two other assaults before killing an intimate partner."

Cooper, his wife, and their three-year-old boy had relocated to Spring to live with family in Rosharon.

Cooper asked his wife to come to the house on the evening of the murder while he and the couple's child were at the Spring home. He chased her around the house with a gun after they got into an argument. He shot her multiple times when she ran outdoors, once taking a bullet to the head.

After that, he drove off in a black Cadillac CTS with black wheels. Following their arrival, Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies started their investigation.

On the eve of his January trial, Cooper was later taken into custody and entered a guilty plea to murder.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Marshall said that Cooper had two prior convictions for assaulting two other women before he married Williams.

Parole will not be granted until Cooper has completed at least half of his sentence. His prison sentence may be extended by the pending charges against him in Brazoria County.