34 year old Vincent Lewis Herrera was sentenced to 50 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, for the felony offense of Aggravated Robbery.
On Monday, January 25, 2016, trial began in the 56th District Court. The State presented witness testimony and physical evidence that Herrera and a co-defendant burglarized a home in Texas City and assaulted, with a gun, the resident on September 20, 2014.
Shortly before 6:00 a.m. on September 20, 2014, the victims were awakened to men breaking into their home. One victim ran to a neighboring police officer’s home seeking help. The other victim confronted the suspects, who demanded money and property. Herrera engaged in a physical altercation with the victim before pulling out a gun. During the course of the home invasion, Herrera and his co-defendant removed several items from the home and Herrera struck the victim in the head multiple times with the gun.
When officers arrived, the co-defendant was seen exiting through the front gate to the home. After a scuffle, in which the co-defendant attempted to take an officer’s weapon, the co-defendant was apprehended and detained.
The victim shouted to officers that Herrera, the suspect with the gun, was in the backyard. After a short chase around the home, Herrera was apprehended as he tried to flee through the front gate area. In Herrera’s pockets was found the victims’ wallet and cell phones. Inside the suspects’ vehicle, officers found additional items that had been taken from inside the home.
Officers searched the backyard and found a gun in the area where Herrera was seen when he attempted to flee.
The jury heard closing arguments on Thursday morning and then retired to deliberate. The jury returned that afternoon with a guilty verdict.
During punishment, Herrera pled true to the two felony enhancements the State alleged in the indictment, setting his punishment range at 25 to 99 years, or life, in prison. The enhancements were for a 2007 conviction for Possession of a Controlled Substance and a 2013 conviction for Aggravated Assault Causing Serious Bodily Injury. In addition to the two enhancements, the State presented evidence that Herrera had three additional prior felony convictions, which included a 2003 conviction for Injury to a Child and a 2006 conviction for Harassment by Person in a Correctional Facility.
The jury took only a couple of hours to deliberate before returning with a punishment verdict of 50 years. Herrera will be eligible for parole once he has served at least one-half of his sentence.
The case against the co-defendant, Aaron Richard Herrera, 22, is still pending and currently set for trial in the 56th District Court.
Herrera was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Jennifer Ott and Richard Hayes in the 56th District Court, with Judge Lonnie Cox presiding. The investigation was conducted by the Texas City Police Department.