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Trial Begins in Murder of Local Police Sergeant

Crime

Officer Richard Houston | Image by Mesquite Police Department

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Testimony in the trial of a man charged with the killing of a Mesquite police officer began Tuesday at the Frank Crowley Courthouse.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Sergeant Richard Houston was responding to a call in the parking lot of a grocery store located at Belt Line and Cartwright roads in Mesquite when Jamie Jaramillo allegedly shot him on December 3, 2021.

Police said that Jaramillo was on bad terms with his wife, and she had accused him of cheating in the months before the incident. On that day, his wife and their daughter reportedly caught him with his mistress at an Albertsons grocery store, according to the daughter.

The two women confronted Jaramillo and the mistress, and the mistress called 911. Houston responded to the scene, and as he approached the parties, Jaramillo allegedly shot him. He then shot himself in the head.

Police said the officer was also taken to Baylor University Medical Center but did not survive his injuries. Jaramillo was also taken to hospital, where he was treated for self-inflicted injuries.

Jaramillo’s lawyers are not disputing that he killed Houston. However, they said he might not have known Houston was a police officer when he approached him as his mental state at the time was foggy. Authorities say that Houston wore his uniform and responded to the scene in a police car.

Prosecutor Jason Hermus said in opening arguments on September 13 that Houston was shot three times. One bullet hit him in the leg, causing a fracture in his bone. Another hit him below the left chest but did not penetrate his skin due to protection from his vest. The fatal bullet struck him near his collarbone, penetrating his heart and lungs and then exiting his back.

Houston’s wife Shelley was the first to testify at the hearing. His oldest child, Shelby, who gave a heartfelt eulogy at the funeral, was also present.

Shelley described Houston as a family man of morals and integrity.

“He was an amazing father. They (his children) were his pride and joy,” she said.

If convicted, Jaramillo will serve a life sentence in prison without parole as prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.    

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