HOUSTON, TX – On Wednesday, March 31st, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that a Houston man was sentenced to 45 years in prison for randomly stabbing a day laborer.
During his sentencing, evidence of animal cruelty, including bestiality was introduced.
After a two-day bench trial, 34-year-old Arthur Kelvin Lovell was sentenced by state District Judge Mark Kent Ellis.
Click2 Houston reported that Lovell was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the incident outside a convenience store in the 10200 block of West Belfort.
The victim, seeing that Lovell appeared to be aiming for his heart, put up his arm to block the attack, which resulted in the victim sustaining a serious stab wound to the arm. The victim survived the attack.
Warning: The details in this case are very disturbing. – Harris County man who authorities say admitted to having sex with dogs, killing them sentenced in unrelated stabbing case – https://t.co/0hW2vuyQvt #KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/rgGAmK2wcg
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) April 1, 2021
“Violent criminals who indiscriminately attack strangers need to be off the streets and behind bars,”
She went on to say:
“No one should have to fear such violence from a gun, a knife or a fist while going about their day. That’s why public safety is our highest calling.”
After Lovell was convicted, prosecutors introduced evidence in the punishment phase that showed Lovell has a criminal history including assault, burglary and bestiality.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Lindsey Bondurant is the chief of the Animal Cruelty Section, and was the one prosecuting this case.
Prosecutors with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office say they discovered during their investigation of a 2014 attack that Arthur Kelvin Lovell had a violent history with animals. https://t.co/mM7RMRNh4Y
— 48 Hours (@48hours) April 1, 2021
“He stabbed a puppy, and police went to his house to find him,”
“He told police he finds strays or dogs of his friends and plays with them, eventually has sex with them, then kills them and keeps the skulls. He kept the skulls at the head of his bed.”
While bestiality is currently a crime in Texas, at the time that Lovell admitted his actions to police, it was not illegal.
According to prosecutors, Lovell even showed investigators cellphone photos of the dogs that he abused.
Prosecutors said the reason they introduced the evidence was to show a pattern of behavior. Evidence was also introduced that showed that Lovell had assaulted several jailers during his multiple stays in the Harris County Jail.
Because he was convicted of an assault with a deadly weapon, Lovell must serve at least half of the 45-year sentence before he is eligible for parole, prosecutors said.
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Man accused of murdering Houston police officer released by bleeding heart judge on only 10 percent of bond
March 18, 2021
HOUSTON, TX — The man accused of shooting and killing a Houston police officer last November has been released on a $750,000 bond.
Robert Soliz, 24, was arrested during an afternoon traffic stop on Nov. 10, just 24 hours after the shooting death of Houston Police Department (HPD) Sgt. Sean Rios, who was shot multiple times.
Man accused of killing Houston cop pays $750K in bonds to get out of jail https://t.co/S0PquLm9M8
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) March 17, 2021
Andy Kahan, Director of Victim Services and Advocacy at Crime Stoppers of Houston, questioned why judges were now granting bonds to defendants charged with the murder of a law enforcement officer since it was not done in the past:
“The Suspect charged with the Murder of HPD Sgt Sean Rios just bonded out;
“Robert Soliz posted a $500,000 bond for murder in addition to two $100,000 bond for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon;
“Soliz was on a Misdemeanor Bond for Carrying a Handgun in a Vehicle when he was charged with the world Sgt Rios;
“Used to be an automatic No Bond for a defendant charged with the murder of a law enforcement officer — Not anymore;
“Compliments of the 179th District Court.”
Our hearts are broken over the death of @houstonpolice Sergeant Sean Rios who was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire this afternnon. We will never forget him and will see his 4 children, family and friends through this painful loss. RIP pic.twitter.com/QBHx2bymWY
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) November 10, 2020
HPD Chief Art Acevedo said Rios was headed to the airport for his 2 p.m. shift when he was involved in a gun battle. Authorities and witnesses say the officer was wearing plain clothes.
The chief said Rios leaves behind four children — ages 17, 14, 12 and 9 years old — as well as his parents, a brother, and two cousins, who are HPD detectives.
Prior to Rios’ death, three other HPD officers died in the line of duty.
Officer Jason Knox died last May when the HPD helicopter he was on went down.
And in December of 2019, Sgt. Christopher Brewster was shot and killed while confronting a domestic violence suspect in Houston’s East End.
An unnamed witness at the scene who heard the gunshots told ABC 13 he saw the officer running toward the motel searching for help:
“He was just bleeding everywhere, all over, and just not running right. He entered the office at the motel and he collapsed right in there.”
Robert Soliz, 24, is out on bond he is accused of killing a Houston police sergeant during a shootout. Soliz has a long criminal record dating back to 2014 that includes skipping bail. But, still out on bond. #FirstThem https://t.co/3o2sUsWw9V pic.twitter.com/MQlSSDO4mR
— #FirstThem NEWS🇺🇸 (@FirstThemNEWS) March 17, 2021
Soliz, who was charged with murder, has a history of arrests dating back to 2014, according to an ABC 13 report.
A family member of Soliz told ABC 13 the suspect isn’t perfect, but is also no killer.
The relative, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said Soliz is a family man who took care of his wife and hadn’t been in trouble for years.
Numerous posts have been made and shared about Robert Soliz having recent felony charges lowered to misdemeanors. This is what Harris County residents voted for in 2016 and 2020. The sweetheart deals will continue. pic.twitter.com/40967OVzfD
— Houston Police Officers' Union (@HPOUTX) November 11, 2020
However, records show Soliz was arrested numerous times, with charges that ranged from possessing marijuana to evading arrest and criminal trespass. In 2017, Soliz was accused of threatening his girlfriend at the time with murder, according to ABC 13.
Robert Soliz was on bond when he murdered Sgt Rios yesterday. He has convictions from 2014,15,&16. 2016-Bond jumps. 2016-Evading. 2017-Terroristic Threat(threatens MURDER).2017-UCW.2018-UCW. 2018-Bond jumps. 2020-On bond for UCW when he kills Sgt Rios. #HarrisCountyDeservesBetter pic.twitter.com/IyB1uAJsqf
— mary nan huffman (@marynanhuffman) November 11, 2020
His most recent arrest was in 2020. According to court records obtained by ABC 13, Soliz was out on bond for unlawfully carrying a weapon in a motor vehicle on Feb. 15 when he was arrested. He was given a $100 bail for that charge.
The male in the black shirt is wanted in connection with the murder of Sgt. Sean Rios. The suspect in the white shirt is Robert Soliz, who is currently in custody.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) November 10, 2020
According to Chief Acevedo, it was believed that Soliz was shooting at another vehicle in north Houston well before the gun battle that killed Rios:
“That’s part of what we believe happened here is that our sergeant witnessed something in the works — aggravated assault with a firearm — and intervened, and sadly, gave his life for the people of Houston.”
Robert Soliz, 24, was arrested Tuesday 24 hours after the shooting death of Sgt. Sean Rios.
He was arrested during a traffic stop on the Katy Freeway around 3:15 p.m. pic.twitter.com/smlEpmQiQi
— Mayra Moreno ABC13 (@MayraABC13) November 11, 2020
Soliz’ relative, however, insisted the incident played out differently, claiming Rios gave no warning to the suspect:
“(Rios) just walked straight out of the car. Straight to my brother’s car. And my brother starts backing up and says, ‘Hey, stop walking toward me with a gun.’ Gave him a warning. Cop kept walking. My brother shot a warning shot. After that, they went to gunfire for over two minutes.”
The relative further claimed:
“(This is) no question, self-defense. Guy with no police. With no uniform, no badge, no nothing. It’s 2020. You can’t hop out a car with your gun showing and not expect for the other person to have a gun to not.”
Robert Soliz, left, was arrested after a traffic stop on the Katy Freeway. Police are looking for the man on the right, identified as an "extreme person of interest" who was seen on surveillance cameras. https://t.co/lItK2RTr9q #khou #hounews pic.twitter.com/j82Q8VIFJJ
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) November 11, 2020
HPD had confirmed Rios was out of uniform at the time of the incident. The sergeant was on his way to his 2 p.m. shift at Bush Intercontinental Airport when he died, police added.
HPD said Jason Frank Vazquez was the person who was seen in surveillance video talking to Soliz after the deadly shooting, according to KHOU 11.
BREAKING: HPD said Jason Frank Vazquez is the person who was seen in surveillance video talking to accused murderer Robert Soliz after the deadly shooting of Sgt. Sean Rios earlier this month.
— KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) November 17, 2020
After the shooting, Soliz drove his car to a transmission shop that belonged to a family member. A prosecutor said he told his family member he was shot at on the freeway and left his car there.
Prosecutors said Soliz left the shop with a man in a black Chevy truck, who police identified as Vazquez.
Prosecutors said video surveillance captured Soliz and Vazquez talking about the shooting. Prosecutors said the video recorded Soliz saying “my (expletive) jammed,” and “he almost hit me.”
Looney’s letter read:
“I am writing to formally request that the investigation into the shooting of Sean Rios be turned over to the Texas Rangers.
“I do not believe that you or your department intend to do anything improper here, but I do believe that the appearance of bias is unavoidable under these circumstances, and that it is in everybody’s interests that any such appearance be removed.
“I have nothing but respect for what you’ve done with the Houston Police Department during your tenure, but considering that Sgt. Rios was a Houston Police Department officer, and two of his cousins continue to work there, it is difficult to believe that emotions are not running high.
“We all recognize that emotions can color a person’s judgment, and this case should be investigated dispassionately. It is normal under these circumstances for an outside agency to conduct the investigation.
“Jurisdictions all over the country, and especially here in Texas, routinely turn officer involved shooting cases over to outside agencies, which in Texas means the Texas Rangers.
“There is no indication that the Rangers have ever done anything but an excellent job in such cases. There is no downside to turning this case over to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers are amply trained, equipped, prepared, and funded to conduct this investigation.
“All that is lost is the opportunity for the impartiality of the Houston Police Department to be called into question unnecessarily.
“This is a good time for the Houston Police Department to turn this case over to the professionals in the Texas Rangers, and allow for the facts to come to light without the inevitable filters that arise when an agency investigates the deaths of one of its own.
“If this had been an altercation between two civilians, it is difficult to believe that the sorts of public statements we are seeing from your Department would be released.
“We are troubled by reading statements that Sgt. Rios was acting in the line of duty. There is no evidence Robert Soliz ever believed or, had reason to believe Sgt. Rios was a police officer.
“The officers did not recognize Sgt. Rios as an officer at the scene. Sgt. Rios was not in a police vehicle, was not in uniform, was not displaying a badge, and was not using his service weapon.
“Mr. Soliz desperately wants the facts to come out. And Mr. Soliz believes an independent investigation will show that he was not the instigator of this incident, and that all he knew was that an armed man he did not recognize was coming at him with a gun pointed at him — and he defended himself.
“Turning this case over to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division is not an effective answer, as under that scenario HPD would continue to conduct the investigation.
“The District Attorney’s Office does not have laboratories or crime scene units. They rely on police agencies to provide them with the physical evidence and initial interviews with witnesses.
“To the extent that all of that comes from the Houston Police Department, the investigation into this case will still suffer from the same conflict of interest.
“There is no downside to turning this case over to the Texas Rangers. Best practices should be followed, and the best practice in this scenario call for the Houston Police Department to tum this case over to the professionals in the Texas Rangers, and allow for the facts to come to light without the conflicts of interest and emotion that risk undermining this investigation.”
Looney told KPRC 2 that he was not aware that Soliz made bond.
Soliz is scheduled to appear in court on March 23.
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