Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office
Assistant District Attorney
Damion Gentry, the first 14-year-old to be certified to stand trial as an adult in Fort Bend County, was subsequently convicted by a jury on April 15, 2014 of two counts of Aggravated Robbery. The jury then sentenced Gentry to 50 years in the penitentiary plus a $10,000 fine for each offense. Now 17, the Richmond youth was certified as an adult in November 2012 by the Honorable Judge Susan Lowery, County Court at Law No. 3, sitting as a Juvenile Court. Fort Bend County District Attorney John Healey was proud of Judge Lowery’s groundbreaking decision to approve his office’s request to certify Gentry.
Gentry’s co-actor, 24-year-old Daniel DeSantiago-Caraza, plead guilty to Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Assault and Arson, and was sentenced to 60 years, 20 years and 20 years, respectively, by the court after a punishment hearing on May 29, 2014. Both defendants were tried in the 240th District Court by Visiting Judge Lee Duggan.
Beginning in the late evening of January 18, 2012, Gentry and DeSantiago-Caraza began a violent crime spree in Harris County that continued throughout the early morning hours of January 19th into Fort Bend County. During this torrential episode of criminal offenses, Daniel DeSantiago-Caraza and another unidentified co-actor initially robbed and shot a cab driver in the leg in the city of Bellaire. The driver was treated at Ben Taub Hospital and survived. The two defendants then joined one another in the city of Houston where they robbed and shot at two adult night school students at Liberty High School. During the course of this robbery, they stole one victim’s car and drove it to Fort Bend County where they set it on fire and completely destroyed it.
Continuing their spree, the two shot at a 67-year-old man on his way to work near Hwy 90 and FM 359 in Richmond, missing him by inches, but causing him injuries from the shattered glass of his car window. The carnage finally ended around 3:30 a.m. when the defendants were apprehended by Rosenberg police officers after they robbed another man at gunpoint while he worked to clean the Brazos Town Center parking lot.
Four different police agencies across the two counties investigated and collaborated to solve the crimes quickly. Gentry, a documented gang member, and DeSantiago-Caraza, who has a prior criminal record, both claimed to be under the influence of illegal drugs and alcohol during the episodes.
“The juvenile system is designed to rehabilitate youth; however, on rare occasions, the services it provides cannot rehabilitate youth in a way that adequately protects the innocent and unsuspecting public,” said McCollum. “Both of these defendants shared responsibility for the armed robberies; shooting of, and attempted shooting of, four people – all of whom fortunately survived. It was a crime spree of terrible proportions for which the punishments fit the crimes.”
Aggravated Robbery is a first-degree felony punishable by 5-99 years or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Aggravated Assault and Arson in this case are both second-degree felonies each punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. All sentences will run concurrently. Because a deadly weapon was used to commit the crimes, Gentry and DeSantiago-Caraza will serve at least one-half of their sentences before they are eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorneys Tyra Jones McCollum, Stuti Trehan Patel and Taniya Henderson prosecuted the cases. Attorneys Michael Diaz and Brian Middleton represented Gentry and attorney Don Hecker represented DeSantiago-Caraza.