A 24-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to her involvement in a horrific murder orchestrated by MS-13 gang members in Spring, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Karla Jackelin Morales agreed to a 30-year prison sentence just before her trial was set to begin. The victim, Jose Alfonso Villanueva, was brutally killed on July 29, 2018.
The man was lured to a field under false pretenses. Morales and five gang members attacked Villanueva, slashing him with a machete and shooting him as he tried to escape. The murder was reportedly motivated by Villanueva’s disrespect towards the gang during a rap battle.
Morales, who had been on the run since 2021, was apprehended and re-arrested before her trial. She had jumped bail and removed her ankle monitor in an attempt to evade justice. The District Attorney’s Office stated that Morales’ guilty plea brings closure to the victim’s family, as they have sought justice for this premeditated and planned attack. Morales was originally scheduled to face trial in October 2021.
Robert Kurtz, acting special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, emphasized the significance of collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the District Attorney’s Office. He commended their joint efforts in holding all individuals involved in this horrifying tragedy accountable.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Sanchez echoed this sentiment. Sanchez warned that anyone contemplating gang involvement should take note of the consequences. He hopes that this case serves as a cautionary tale for those considering joining gangs, regardless of age or gender.