Houston, Texas – On Valentine’s Day, a White grandmother of two was believed to be maliciously targeted, carjacked, and murdered by two teenagers with “medium complexions.” After the arrest of one of the perpetrators, the family of the 65-year-old victim is now demanding the “harshest penalty” for the shameless crime.
On Tuesday, Houston police tracked down and arrested Hispanic 17-year-old Owen Leonardo Vilanova-Ardon for his alleged role in the gruesome murder of Judy Rae Walters, a White woman, in the parking lot of her apartment complex. Police claim that Vilanova-Ardon and another yet-to-be-identified suspect yanked Walters out of her White Mitsubishi Eclipse early in the morning on Feb 14th.
According to surveillance footage of the area taken at the time of the incident, the two suspects waited at least eight hours for Walters to make herself available in the parking lot. It’s believed that Vilanova-Ardon and his accomplice then attacked Walters, shooting her at point-blank range, stealing her car, and driving off, striking Walters with the vehicle in the process.
Police responded to reports of a shooting in the area and found Walters suffering from a gunshot wound. Medical professionals declared her dead at the scene. The 65-year-old’s car was discovered ten miles away from the murder scene, in an empty garage at an abandoned golf course. For his role, the Police charged Vilanova-Ardon with capital murder and are still searching for his unidentified accomplice. A judge ordered him to be held without bond.
“Investigators learned at least two suspects, described only as young males with medium complexions and wearing black bandanas, shot Walters and pulled her out of her vehicle,” said Police. “The suspects stole the vehicle, a white Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, and struck the woman with it as they fled the scene eastbound on St. Mary’s Lane.”
While Police have yet to pinpoint an exact motive, investigators suggested that Walters knew the suspects, and her targeted murder may have sprung from a domestic argument occurring days prior. Walters’ eldest son corroborated the theory in an interview with ABC13. “I called police to break up the situation because I couldn’t make it in time, and it wasn’t 24 hours later she was ambushed and killed,” he said, referring to the argument. “They didn’t steal anything from her. It was pure evil.”
“Ultimately, everyone wants justice,” he continued. “They didn’t want her money. They didn’t want her purse. They didn’t want her car. They didn’t want her rings, jewelry, or laptop. They wanted her life and we want theirs.”
The late Walters was a beloved member of her community and cherished by her immediate family. According to KTRK, Walters would work two jobs and sometimes donate blood in order to help provide for her two grandchildren and friends. She even planned to adopt one needy child, Hunter, whom he already referred to as “grandma.”
“My grandma was an amazing person,” said Hunter during an interview. “She deserved the world. She took care of me, my sister, and my girlfriend…Because I don’t have a mom or dad, I asked her to adopt me, and she said she would.”
Hunter’s biological father is Walter’s youngest son. He—along with Hunter’s mother—have not been involved with raising Hunter for almost a decade. After Judy Walters’ death, however, her eldest son has now taken temporary custody of Hunter, joining a family that already has three children of their own.
The family is now seeking justice for those responsible for Judy’s death. “We want everyone involved to get the same penalty, the maximum penalty,” said Walters’ daughter-in-law, Ashley. “They need life. The max penalty they can get regardless of who it was because it’s not like she was going to fight back,” said Hunter. A GoFundMe campaign to support the Walters family and pay for her funeral has been created. At the time of publication, the fundraiser still has a long way to go to reach its $100,000 goal.
The city of Houston, Texas has long been considered a “minority-majority” enclave as early as the 1990s. This was not always the case, however. Per U.S census reports, the White population of “Space City” once clocked in at 62% during the 1970s. But In a few short decades, this White population would see itself shrink to a meager 23% by 2020, eclipsed by surging numbers of Hispanic and Latino residents and out-flanked by a sizeable-yet-shrinking Black population. Houston is considered the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major city in the United States. In 2017, Houston was reported to have approximately 600,000 illegal aliens living within its streets, with many opting to avoid public institutions in fear of being deported back to their ethnic homelands.
Acts of non-White violence that lead to disfigurement or death have surged in the past few years, with many cases often targeting the most vulnerable members of the White community. In December, an 83-year-old White grandfather of two was forcibly shoved to the ground and killed at Home Depot by a Black shoplifter as he made off with a cart full of power tools in North Carolina. In New Orleans that same year, a Hispanic food worker allegedly pummeled a 73-year-old White tourist in his hotel room while his wife was forced to watch helplessly from the bathroom door. During police interrogation, the suspect claimed all he remembered about the attack, was “tacos and beer.”
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