Heights ‘Snapchat shooter’ makes plea deal

23-year-old who fired pis­tol in res­i­den­tial area, posted it to so­cial me­dia gets 5 years’ pro­ba­tion

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - CITY | STATE - By Brian Rogers STAFF WRITER brian.rogers@chron.com

A 23-year-old Mis­souri City man who used Snapchat to film him­self fir­ing a pis­tol in a Hous­ton neigh­bor­hood will spend five years on pro­ba­tion af­ter plead­ing guilty to deadly con­duct on Fri­day, court records show.

Ed­win Alexan­der Ospino has been in the Har­ris County Jail since May, when his bond was re­voked for cur­few vi­o­la­tions and test­ing pos­i­tive for drugs, records show. He also was on pro­ba­tion for a charge of re­sist­ing ar­rest in 2016.

A Snapchat clip of Ospino fir­ing a semi-au­to­matic weapon into the air in the Heights-area Cot­tage Grove Park neigh­bor­hood around 10:15 p.m. on Nov. 20 went vi­ral with Hous­ton news sta­tions airing the short clip. Af­ter au­thor­i­ties saw it, the Hous­ton Po­lice De­part­ment filed charges of deadly con­duct, al­leg­ing that he acted with dis­re­gard for the peo­ple in the nearby houses. Ospino was ar­rested days later when CrimeStop­pers of Hous­ton of­fered a $5,000 re­ward.

When he ar­rived at the Har­ris County Court­house for his ar­raign­ment in late Novem­ber, Ospino re­fused to an­swer ques­tions from re­porters, choos­ing in­stead to try to build a fol­low­ing for his as­pir­ing mu­sic ca­reer and sell Tshirts with his Snapchat han­dle on it.

He ar­rived with his 20-yearold brother, who was wear­ing a tee with Ospino’s Snapchat han­dle writ­ten across the front. On the so­cial me­dia plat­form, he en­cour­aged fol­low­ers to use the hash­tag #ShapchatShooter and of­fered to sell the T-shirts.

Af­ter ap­pear­ing be­fore state Dis­trict Judge Ge­orge Pow­ell, Ospino walked away from sev­eral TV cam­eras and opened the Snapchat app on his phone to record a mes­sage to his fol­low­ers. He told them not to be­lieve what they had heard about his case.

If he vi­o­lates his pro­ba­tion, he faces the pos­si­bil­ity of 10 years in prison for the third-de­gree felony. In court records for his other cases, Ospino is also listed as Ed­win Alexan­der Ospino-Soto and Ed­win Soto Ospino.


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