Houston Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Killing Two Men in Freeway Shooting
A Houston man has been sentenced to 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing two men from Louisiana while stopping them in traffic on I-10 to gun them down, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“There is no place in our community for this kind of extreme gun violence,” Ogg said. “People can’t settle their disputes with a gun, and they certainly can’t start shooting on a freeway crowded with innocent commuters and kids.”
Jonathan Aleman, 32, admitted to killing 25-year-old Bradley Barker and 33-year-old Binel Gasery Jr. on August 8, 2019. Both of the victims were from Gray, Louisiana, a rural town on the outskirts of New Orleans.
After he was arrested, Aleman told police that the two men had robbed a friend of his in a “drug deal gone wrong.” Aleman tracked the duo down in rush hour traffic on the East Freeway near Federal just before 6 p.m.
Aleman was in a dark sedan with tinted windows that collided with the Nissan Sentra that the two men were in. When the cars came to a stop in the middle lanes, Aleman got out and opened fire. He shot up the Sentra with almost continuous gunfire as the victims tried to get away by backing up on the freeway. Both men in the Sentra were killed.
Witnesses said Aleman was using an assault rifle, like an AK-47, but Aleman told police it was a Glock pistol that had been outfitted with a stock, a long barrel and apparently an extended clip. He said he later destroyed the gun.
Aleman kept shooting until a good Samaritan in traffic opened fire on him, forcing him to get back in his car and flee.
Investigators with the Houston Police Department used cellphone data and surveillance video to identify and arrest Aleman. Another man was arrested after the double murder, but further investigation cleared him of wrongdoing.
Assistant District Attorney Karen Barney, who is a chief in the DA’s Homicide Division, prosecuted Aleman with ADA Michael Abner, who is a chief in the DA’s Intake Division.
“People on the East Freeway that day thought this was some type of mass shooting and everyone was terrified,” said Barney. “Thank goodness for the good Samaritan who forced the gunman back into his car and off the highway.”
Aleman was facing life in prison without parole if convicted of capital murder. Instead, he pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for 60 years in prison. He cannot appeal the conviction or the sentence and must serve at least half of the prison sentence before he is eligible for parole.