RICHMOND, Texas (KIAH) — A Houston man was sentenced to 50 years in prison for murdering his girlfriend after she tried to end an “abusive relationship,” Fort Bend County prosecutors said.

Sheldon Wilfred Vashawn Magee, 48, was convicted of murder and sentenced by a jury last week, the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office said. He was convicted for the shooting death of Kiva Herrera, who was shot to death in a Sugar Land hotel parking lot on Aug. 11, 2019.

The jury heard testimony that Magee and Herrera had been in a dating relationship until she ended their relationship just days prior. Herrera did not return to the couple’s shared apartment, and once the defendant found the victim’s vehicle at a hotel, he stalked her for days leading up to her murder, prosecutors said.

“Kiva Herrera was a courageous woman who walked away from an abusive relationship. The defendant stalked and terrorized Ms. Herrera as she tried to begin a life without him and he ultimately murdered the woman he claimed to love,” chief domestic violence prosecutor Sunni Mitchell said.  “The jury’s verdict ensures that Sheldon Magee will never be able to harm someone else while also sending a clear message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in this community.”

According to Mitchell, the hotel manager testified that she saw Herrera sitting on the ground with her hands together as if in prayer. The manager asked Magee if everything was alright, and he said that they were having a “misunderstanding.”

After the manager left to call police, two other witnesses said they saw Magee holding Herrera by the shirt while holding a gun, then he pointed the gun at her and fired at her, then walked away casually as if nothing happened, prosecutors said.

When Sugar Land police officers arrived at the scene, they saw Magee pointing a gun at one of the officers, and shots were exchanged before Magee ran around the corner of the hotel, prosecutors said.

Officers testified that they found Magee lying in the grass and detained him. However, he got away before they got to the patrol car and jumped into a lake next to the hotel, then was apprehended again.

Evidence revealed the details of one of the last text messages that the victim sent to the defendant. The text message read: “God has revealed so much to me. He has also strengthened me! Strengthened me to know my worth! Strengthened me to walk away and never return to an abusive person such as yourself. You a 45 year old man and your choice in life is to now stalk me. Where do you think that will end up for you? I’m taking every steps with the law legally to protect myself and eventually justice will be served.”

“Too often domestic abuse ends in senseless tragedy,” Fort Bend County District Attorney Brian Middleton said. “We honored the victim’s request and held Sheldon Magee accountable for his depraved, heartless, selfish actions. The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office remains committed to ending domestic violence and will continue to hold perpetrators accountable.”

Fort Bend County has resources to support victims and survivors of domestic violence.  The number to the Fort Bend County Women’s Center Crisis Hotline is (281) 342-HELP (4357) and the toll-free number to the National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.