Man sentenced to 60 years for brutal murder of girlfriend

A Texas resident, Dantravias Jamal McNeil, 35, has been handed a 60-year prison sentence after confessing to the brutal murder of his girlfriend. McNeil was convicted for the killing of Katy Houck, 47, whom he stabbed 27 times in a motel in Baytown, Texas, on August 17, 2020.

The couple had checked into the motel on Garth Road on the night of the incident. A few hours later, the Baytown Police Department received reports of a disturbance at the motel. Upon arrival, they found McNeil in a state of hysteria with a knife close by. Houck was discovered in a pool of blood inside their room.

Emergency services rushed Houck to a nearby hospital, but she was pronounced dead on arrival. According to a statement from the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Houck had been stabbed at least 27 times, including two fatal wounds to the heart. McNeil was arrested at the scene.

District Attorney Kim Ogg expressed her condolences to the victim’s family, emphasizing the insidious nature of domestic violence. She noted that such cases often escalate without warning and can result in tragic outcomes, as seen in this case. Houck, a mother and caregiver to one of her children, was lost to a senseless act of violence.

Despite his guilty plea, McNeil maintained that he acted in self-defense and requested the minimum prison sentence. Assistant DA Kimberly Garcia, who co-prosecuted the case, revealed McNeil’s extensive criminal history, including three prior convictions for domestic violence. In each case, McNeil claimed to be the victim. Garcia expressed relief at the sentencing, stating that although McNeil pleaded guilty, he failed to take responsibility for his actions.