A Houston man is returning to prison for life after shooting at Montgomery County officers during a violent high speed chase last year.
Judge Patty Maginnis in the 435th District Court sentenced Ebeneser Benny Morones on Friday to Life in prison after Montgomery County citizens found him guilty the week before of Aggravated Assault Public Servant, Possession with Intent to Deliver, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Felon, and Evading with a Motor Vehicle.
The life sentences are for offenses that occurred on August 8, 2015, according to information from the District Attorney’s office.
A traffic stop turned into a violent high speed chase on Highway 59 near FM 1314 after Woodbranch Police Officer Robert Rodriguez pulled over the passenger car for speeding, which Morones was riding in.
Morones began shooting at the officer while hanging out of the passenger window while the car sped between 80 to 100 mph.
The Woodbranch patrol vehicle was disabled when bullets were lodged into the windshield and hood of the car. Montgomery County Constable Precinct 4 Deputy Jeff Buchanan continued the pursuit which lasted for approximately 17 miles into Harris County and ended near Highway 59 at Hopper Road.
While Morones fired multiple shots at Buchanan, one of the bullets hit another moving vehicle and pierced through that windshield as the chase continued.
Three other suspects were in the fleeing vehicle and ran after the car crashed into a ditch.
Morones exited the vehicle before it came to a stop and was not apprehended until several hours later.
When arrested Morones was in possession of the M1 30 carbine rifle used to shoot at the police officers involved. Precinct 4 also located five other firearms and approximately 19 grams of methamphetamines with digital scales and small bags for selling where Morones was seated in the vehicle.
During the punishment phase of the trial, Assistant District Attorney Rochelle Guiton presented evidence that the Morones had previously been convicted of Assault Family Violence – Enhanced and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, making him a habitual offender facing 25-99 or life punishment range for each count.
He was also previously convicted of a number of misdemeanor offenses for similar offenses, Evading Arrest and Assault Family Violence.
Morones is also a member of the Houston Tango Blast gang, which has a reputation as a dangerous prison gang.
This case was a multi-agency effort to get a violent man off the streets. Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and SWAT, Houston Police Department, Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, Texas
Rangers, and Texas Department of Public Safety assisted in investigating this case and apprehending the offenders. The driver, Javier Alquicira, took a 25 year prison plea prior to this trial.
Assistant District Attorney Rochelle Guiton said she immediately recognized Morones as a dangerous man when she inherited the case in March and aimed for the life sentence.
“Our Montgomery County citizens as jurors and our judges are thankfully able to recognize when we have those more serious offenses,” Guiton said. “… I’m especially proud of the verdict we got on this case. We had officers that were willing to go after someone who was clearly intending to hurt them. I am proud of our police officers for being able to catch this person and get him off the street.”
District Attorney Brett Ligon said it is a “scary time for law enforcement agencies and officers”.
“And in this case, the lives of officers and innocent bystanders were at risk because this habitual felon decided to shoot at police to try and get away,” Ligon said. “It is a miracle that no one was killed. This type of violence against police and innocent civilians will not be tolerated in Montgomery County.”
Morones was represented by Benton Baker and Kathryn Liptrap.
Liptrap declined to comment and Baker was unable to be reached by press time.
Story provided by Your Houston News.
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Tagged Benton Baker, Ebeneser Benny Morones, High Speed Chase, Houston Criminal Defense, Houston Criminal Defense Attorney, Houston Drug Lawyer, Houston Gang, Jeff Buchanan, Judge Patty Maginnis, Montgomery County, Rochelle Guiton, Tango Blast,