By LeaAnne Klentzman
“Deandre Ashton Ward was sentenced to 21 years in prison on April 18, 2011 after a jury convicted him of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity,” said a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office.
Ward, 21, was indicted after a gang-related shooting in Missouri City in August of 2008. He was also charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity which enhances punishment for certain crimes when they are gang-related.
According to Assistant District Attorney Celena Vinson, “Forever About Bread” (FAB) and “100 Click”, who are rival gangs, were involved in an altercation at an Elkins High School football game on August 16, 2008. After the game, gunshots were fired toward a group of people at the McDonald’s in Missouri City. A FAB member was struck by that gunfire.
Shortly thereafter, Ward and other FAB members drove to the Chevron station on Highway 6 in Missouri City. Ward’s friends confronted two people as they were getting gas – believing they were members of 100 Click, said Vinson. She went on saying, “After words were exchanged, the defendant retrieved a handgun from his vehicle and shot at the victims as they left the station. The driver reversed his vehicle; running over bushes and gas pumps to get away from the gunfire as Ward shot the front windshield of the car.”
Ward fled the scene but was spotted nearby about an hour later. Missouri City police stopped Ward and his associates. A search of the vehicle revealed two firearms, including one located next to Ward, said Vinson. Reportedly, forensic analysis by the Harris County Firearms Laboratory, matched the gun next to Ward to spent casings and bullet fragments from the bullet in the victim’s vehicle. “At trial, the defendant admitted to firing the weapon at the victim and to being a member of the Forever About Bread street gang,” said Vinson.
During the punishment phase of trial, the State presented numerous crimes Ward committed while on bond, including Aggravated Robbery. “We are pleased with the jury’s decision to send the defendant to prison for 21 years,” said Vinson.
Ward was prosecuted in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Clifford J. Vacek. Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity in this case is a first-degree felony. Assistant District Attorneys Celena Vinson and Matthew Banister prosecuted the case. Attorney David Disher represented the defendant.