A Cypress man charged with robbery and the murder of a Good Samaritan in a Chinatown restaurant in Cypress, Texas, has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Enzo Ubadimma, 24, was convicted of capital murder and received his sentencing on Wednesday following his five-day trial. Authorities believe Ubadimma was the mastermind behind a crime ring with at least two male members and two female members that targeted Huong Giang Hue, a Vietnamese restaurant in west Houston, on New Year’s Day in 2016. “He was a ring leader who sent masked gunmen into a family restaurant,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said on Thursday. “People deserve to be safe when they sit down to celebrate a holiday meal with the people they love.”
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According to authorities, Ubadimma, who was 18 at the time, served as the driver of the two masked men who entered the restaurant and robbed the restaurant.
He reportedly drove around the area with other members several times before the day of the crime. The two female members pretended to use the restaurant’s bathroom earlier that day.
Herman Ray Browning, a 58-year-old Marine veteran, was eating at the restaurant with his wife and 8-year-old son when the armed shooters came in at around 8:40 p.m. on New Year’s Day 2016.
The armed shooters forced diners to get on the floor and took their belongings and money. It was reported that Browning tried to fight them, but he was shot and killed.
“This defendant was not just a getaway driver; he masterminded the entire robbery and was the brains behind it,” Assistant District Attorney Megan Long, who is part of the District Attorney’s Homicide Division, said in a statement. “Meanwhile, Mr. Browning’s family was there to celebrate his wife’s birthday, and their hopes and dreams for the New Year turned into a nightmare.”
Ubadimma and the two masked shooters fled the scene in a car. The three were eventually arrested, with one of them identified as Telavell Coleman, 18, and the other one a juvenile. The two women, Dadriana Holmes, 19, and Tiala Alexander, 20, were also arrested. The suspects’ ages were indicated as their ages at the time of the incident.
Coleman, Holmes and Alexander are all charged with capital murder. Coleman was also sentenced to life in prison without parole, while the two women and the unnamed male member’s cases are still pending.
Coleman and Ubadimma were reportedly seen waving and smiling at the media during their court appearance in January 2016.