Heights ‘Snapchat shooter’ makes plea deal
23-year-old who fired pistol in residential area, posted it to social media gets 5 years’ probation
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Edwin Alexander Ospino has been in the Harris County Jail since May, when his bond was revoked for curfew violations and testing positive for drugs, records show.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.