Waco man sentenced for 2020 murder in Walmart parking lot

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

March 15, 2023

Alexander Santana Aleman. October 2020 booking photo

A Waco man who was arrested after the October 2020 murder of a Fort Worth woman in the Hillsboro Walmart parking lot was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison in the 66th Judicial District Court.

U.S. Marshals served an arrest warrant on Alexander Santana Aleman, then 20 years old, at The Grove Apartments in Waco on October 27, 2020. He was wanted for murder after the shooting that occurred on the evening of October 22, 2020. The victim, a 27-year-old woman, was shot in her vehicle and later died at a Waco hospital.

The sentence followed a three-day jury trial in February in which evidence was presented that the woman set up a deal where she indicated that she wanted to buy marijuana from Aleman, but she actually planned to rob him of the drugs.

The woman reportedly enlisted the help of two male acquaintances, but evidence presented at trial showed that one of the men backed out of the plan on the drive from Fort Worth to Hillsboro. The victim and the other man, Ronnie Reese, met Aleman in the parking lot, where Reese presented Aleman with a few dollars that he tried to pass off as several hundred dollars and ran away with four ounces of marijuana. He then reentered the woman’s vehicle and the pair attempted to drive away.

Evidence showed that Aleman grabbed a loaded handgun and fired a single shot into the vehicle as the woman drove away, striking her in the head. He then fled the scene and was later identified after authorities received a tip.

Attorney Mark Pratt said that while the defendant had been targeted for theft or robbery by the victim and her accomplice, nine-time felon Reese, who was brought to testify from prison where he is currently serving time for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in an unrelated case, it could not be forgotten that the defendant himself chose to conduct a drug deal in broad daylight in the Walmart parking lot, brought a loaded gun with him, and ultimately made the split-second decision to shoot a young woman in the back of the head over four ounces of marijuana while she was driving away, killing her and also putting local citizens at risk.

While Texas law allows a person to defend their property from a robbery with deadly force and does not make an exception even if the property stolen itself is illegal, that legal defense is limited to situations in which there is no other reasonable alternative to recover the property.

Pratt’s closing argument referenced one of the defendant’s tattoos, which read “Show No Love, Feel No Pain,” and he argued that particular life motto is how Aleman based his decision to shoot, rather than choosing the reasonable alternative of calling the police for assistance, although he had a phone with him, knew the identity of the victim, and knew what vehicle she was driving.

After the jury chose to convict the defendant of murder rather than the lesser offense of manslaughter, the issue remained for the punishment phase of trial regarding whether the defendant was to be sentenced to a particular number of years between five and 99 for first-degree murder or if he was to be sentenced to between two and 20 years in prison for second-degree murder for committing the crime under the immediate influence of sudden passion arising from an adequate cause.

District Judge Lee Harris then sentenced the defendant by agreement of the parties to 35 years in prison.
Pratt concluded by stating that the defendant conferred with his family prior to the sentence and that the victim’s family requested that particular sentence agreement. He added that the victim’s parents and brother expressed joy and relief after the verdict and sentence, as well as deep gratitude to all of the jurors involved.

Other felony criminal cases prosecuted by the office of District Attorney Pratt in February included:

Blake Taylor Allen, assault of a family or household member with previous conviction, five years prison; tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, five years prison

Logan Neil Hamilton, theft of property less than $2,500 with two or more previous convictions, 18 months state jail; bail jumping and failure to appear, four years prison

Lori Ann Kirkpatrick, forgery of a financial instrument, nine months state jail; forgery of a financial instrument, nine months state jail; bail jumping and failure to appear, two years prison

Lori Ashmore, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, two years prison

Darren Louis Cox Jr., abandoning or endangering a child, intentionally/knowingly/recklessly – criminal negligence, 10 months state jail

Joe Robinson Jr., possession of methamphetamine under one gram, 14 months state jail

Jimmy Albert Cuellar, possession of methamphetamine under one gram, four years prison

Elena Patricia Vargas-Jimenez, abandoning or endangering a child intentionally/knowingly/recklessly- criminal negligence, six months state jail

David Rae Adams, prohibited weapon, six years prison

Lewis Allen Holland, tampering or fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, six years prison; continuous violence against the family, six years prison

Anthony Phillip Hernandez, possession of heroin between one and four grams, four years prison

Molly Vickery, possession of methamphetamine between one and four grams, two years prison

Derrick Lynn Green, sexual assault of a child, 11 years prison

District Judge Lee Harris presides over the 66th Judicial District Court.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s