Man gets life sentence for murder of girlfriend

A 60-year prison sentence has been handed down to Dantravias Jamal McNeil, a 35-year-old man from Baytown, Texas, following his admission of guilt in the murder of his girlfriend. The victim, 47-year-old Katy Houck, was stabbed no less than 27 times by McNeil in a motel room on August 17, 2020.

The couple had checked into the motel on Garth Road earlier that evening. A disturbance at the motel later prompted a response from the Baytown Police Department. Upon their arrival, officers found McNeil in a state of apparent hysteria with a knife nearby. Houck was discovered in the room, lying in a pool of her own blood.

Despite the efforts of emergency services to rush Houck to a local hospital, she was declared dead upon arrival. The Harris County District Attorney’s Office reported that Houck had been stabbed at least 27 times, including two fatal wounds to her heart. McNeil was apprehended at the scene.

District Attorney Kim Ogg expressed her deep condolences to the victim’s family, highlighting the dangerous and unpredictable nature of domestic violence. She pointed out that such cases often escalate rapidly and can lead to devastating consequences. Houck, a mother and caregiver to one of her children, was the victim of a senseless act of violence.

Although McNeil admitted his guilt, he insisted that he acted in self-defense and requested the minimum prison sentence. Assistant DA Kimberly Garcia, who co-prosecuted the case, disclosed McNeil’s lengthy criminal history, which includes three prior convictions for domestic violence. In each instance, McNeil claimed to be the victim.

Garcia expressed satisfaction at the sentencing, noting that despite his guilty plea, McNeil failed to fully acknowledge his actions.