Darrell Wayne Holmes

A Fort Bend County jury has found a 55-year-old Houston man guilty of killing another man who was dating the same woman.

Darrell Wayne Holmes was convicted of murder on Sept. 2 in connection with the 2017 shooting.

This was Fort Bend County’s first murder trial since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to prosecutor Lauren Valenti, who serves as the deputy chief of the Family Violence Division, Holmes shot and killed Terrance Hamilton in front of Hamilton’s Houston home on Dec. 21, 2017.

The trial was held in the 434th District Court with judge J. Christian Becerra presiding.

According to testimony, Holmes and Hamilton had been involved with the same woman, but had never met each other.

On the day of the shooting, the woman broke things off with Hamilton to be with the Holmes, according to testimony.

However, about five hours before the shooting, Holmes received a text message from the woman containing a photo of Hamilton, prosecutors reported.

“The defendant drove to the (Hamilton’s) home and saw him standing outside,” Valenti said. “Holmes drove past the man, turned around, and returned to confront Hamilton with a pistol in his lap. (Holmes) began a verbal altercation with Hamilton, which resulted in Hamilton being shot in the face.”

At trial, the defendant claimed self-defense and necessity.

“At the close of evidence, it was clear that Holmes had sought out his victim with a firearm and provoked the deadly encounter,” Valenti said.

Holmes, a felon, was legally prohibited from possessing that firearm, Valenti added.

“The pandemic has prevented our ability to go to trial for so long, we are pleased to finally get justice for Terrance Hamilton and his family,” said Valenti. “And I want to thank the jurors for answering the call during our current health crisis, who delivered a just verdict in difficult times.”

Sentencing has been set for Nov. 2, for in the 434th District Court.

Murder is a first-degree felony, usually punishable by 5-99 years, or life, in prison. Because of Holmes’ multiple felony convictions, the minimum sentence is 25 years.

Valenti and Chief Prosecutor Chad Bridges prosecuted the case on behalf of the state.

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