Attorneys

Houston man will get life with out parole in deadly taking pictures of man who’d beforehand reported him

A Harris County jury on Tuesday sentenced a Houston man to life in prison without parole in the fatal shooting of an elderly homeless man who had previously reported being shot by the man.

Jamin Kidron Stocker, 37, was convicted by the jury of capital murder in the death of Brent Tapp, a 67-year-old homeless man, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s office. Tapp had previously told police that Stocker, taking aim from his balcony, had shot him in the leg. Stocker has also been charged in the 2016 shooting death of a woman riding her bicycle.

“Making a homemade silencer and buying a scope to shoot a rifle from a balcony, like in this case, is not an act of impulse,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “There was planning and premeditation, and the fact that Mr. Stocker returned to the scene, months later, for a cold and calculated murder of the man who would have testified against him, is appalling.”

Stocker’s attorneys, Bryan K. Savoy and R.P. Cornelius, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Stocker lived in a condominium with a second-floor balcony on Rosewood, overlooking the parking lot at the intersection of Caroline and Wheeler, prosecutors said. Tapp told police in August 2017 that Stocker shot him — prompting Stocker to flee, according to the district attorney’s office.

Police searched his home and confiscated several stolen guns. They found a .22 caliber rifle with a scope and homemade silencer and a “stockpile” of .45 caliber bullets, but they didn’t find a .45 caliber gun, authorities said.

Officials issued a warrant for Stocker on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Tapp was fatally shot two months later, in the same parking lot where he had first been struck, police said.

Bullet casings at the scene matched the .45 caliber bullets found in Stocker’s home, they said.

Police arrested Stocker three months later and charged him with capital murder – a homicide commissioned at the time of another crime. The other crime was obstruction, an attempt to prevent Tapp from testifying against him, prosecutors said.

Jurors heard testimony that Stocker blamed Tapp for reporting him to police, forcing him to flee and lose his job and home, according to the district attorney’s office.

Stocker’s phone showed messages admitting to the initial shooting, and ballistics from the homicide scene matched the pistol that Stocker had when he was arrested.

The .22 caliber rifle was also the same gun used in a fatal shooting in March 2016, when a woman named Charlotte Walker was killed riding her bike in the Third Ward, prosecutors said. Stocker is charged with murder in the slaying.

Assistant District Attorneys Lauren Bard and Jamie Burro prosecuted the case.

samantha.ketterer@chron.com

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