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McQueen Sentenced to Five Years in Plea Bargain Agreement

Monday afternoon in Eighth Judicial District Court, Justin Joe McQueen plead guilty to the October, 2015, murder of Jesse Louis Vasquez. Vasquez died from gunshot wounds following a Sunday night shootout on Ingram Street in Sulphur Springs.

Justin Joe McQueen

Justin Joe McQueen

McQueen, 19-years of age at the time of the shooting, was one of several who exchanged gunfire that night. Witnesses at the scene reported to police that a white male had left the scene. During questioning, an individual who had arrived at the scene informed officers that a man was behind a building near Dairy Queen on Main Street and wanted to give himself up. At that location, officers arrested McQueen. McQueen had injuries to his knees from jumping a fence. He was taken to HCMH ER where he was treated and released to Hopkins County Jail.

The shootout occurred following the exchange of text messages between Vasquez’s brother and a friend of McQueen. The gunfight occurred at the home of McQueen’s friend.

District Attorney Will Ramsay said the case held several difficult points. In a statement released by Ramsay, he stated, “As District Attorney, I made the decision to offer Mr. McQueen a sentence of 5 years in the state penitentiary in exchange for his plea of ‘guilty’ to the offense of murder.

“Each criminal case is based on a unique set of facts.  This specific case presented some of the most difficult facts that I have encountered in over a decade of prosecuting cases.  After meetings with the victim’s family and reviewing the totality of circumstances, the decision was made to seek a conviction for murder regardless of the relatively short amount of time Mr. McQueen would spend in prison.

“The prosecution of violent crime is a sacred duty to those of us in this office.  This case presented us with very difficult decisions looking at the facts from many angles, but I believe this is the right move for our chief goal of justice.”

Author: Staff Reporter

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