HOUSTON - A man who was charged with the murders of two people – a former University of Houston football player and a teenager – has been sentenced to life in prison, officials say.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office announced that Xavier Jerome McConico, 23, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of murder for shooting 27-year-old Earl Anthony-Blair Foster three years ago.
Foster, from Missouri City, had a degree in sociology from UH, where he played football on scholarship. He was killed in a shooting at a gas station in the 2500 block of Almeda-Genoa in Houston on the night of March 31, 2020.
The district attorney’s office says McConico and a group of people were involved in a heated argument that turned into a fistfight, during which one man punched another man and left him unconscious.
The district attorney’s office says McConico pulled out a handgun, and Foster – who was not involved in the altercation – and another man ran out of the store as McConico fired three shots into the parking lot.
Foster was shot in the back of the head and died from his injuries.
McConico was arrested about a week and a half later on April 10. According to the district attorney’s office, he admitted to his role in the shooting.
A few days after his arrest, police announced that McConico had been charged in a second deadly shooting that had occurred on January 20, 2020.
That when Undre Thomas, 16, was shot at an apartment complex on Sterlingshire Street in northeast Houston.
According to the district attorney’s office, witnesses reported that the teenager knew McConico, and they were both at the complex when a confrontation among a group of people turned into a gunfight. The district attorney’s office says Thomas was killed in the crossfire when McConico tried to shoot someone else.
Police said the victim’s friends tried to drive him to the hospital, but then pulled over to call 9-1-1. Paramedics then transported him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"This defendant is a very violent gang member who shot an innocent man in the back of the head as he was running away," said Assistant District Attorney Sarah Neyland, a chief in the DA’s Organized Crime Division who prosecuted the case. "This defendant killed two people within two months—he deserved to be sentenced to life in prison."