Shanden Powell (Photo courtesy of Harris County District Attorney’s Office)
HOUSTON – A man previously out on bond accused of killing a student and robbing him of drugs and his video games has been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, Shanden Powell, 24, pleaded guilty on Friday to murder in exchange for 45 years in prison. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery in exchange for 40 years in prison. Both sentences, as specified in a press release by the DA’s office Sunday, will run concurrently.
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This comes after Powell was out on bond for a 2018-armed robbery of a Payless Shoe Store in Houston’s Third Ward. After robbing the store with a laser-sighted pistol and running from the scene, he was stopped by officers, who when “asked why he was running, he said he was running to school” despite it being a Sunday.
The 24-year-old was subsequently out on bond and seven months later in April 2019, contacted Elzima Hines, 23, on Snapchat to buy marijuana. A student at Texas Southern University, Hines agreed to have Powell come to an apartment near the University as he was playing video games with friends at the time.
Elzima Hines (Photo courtesy of Harris County District Attorney’s Office)
Surveillance video showed Powell arriving at the apartment complex and leaving the scene, this time with a gaming device. This is because authorities said he shot Hines before taking his drugs and PlayStation.
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DA Kim Ogg issued a statement in the press release condemning Powell’s actions, especially considering he was out on bond.
“It is obvious that gun crime is out of control when a suspect who is free on bond for armed robbery can shoot someone while committing another armed robbery,” Ogg said. “In this case, the defendant killed someone while trying to steal marijuana and a video game console, and now he will spend decades in prison.”
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