Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

In the State of Texas, burglary is the unlawful entering or remaining in a public or private structure with the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault inside. To be convicted of burglary, it must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there was not only an unlawful entry, but that the defendant also had the intent to commit a felony, theft, or assault once inside the structure.

While some states have a separate criminal charge for burglaries that occur at a home or residence, also referred to as a “burglary of a habitation” or “home invasion,” Texas includes this in a more generalized “burglary” charge. It is classified as a second-degree felony unless the perpetrator of the burglary entered the home with the intention to commit a felony other than felony theft. In this case, the crime would be considered to be a first-degree felony.

Burglary is considered to be a very serious crime, hence its felony status. Burglary when coupled with other crimes, such as homicide, will be dealt with the utmost severity. The penalties on the table in these situations include the death penalty. In fact, Texas recently executed a man who was convicted of murder while committing a burglary back in 2010.

Man Convicted of Killing Woman During 2010 Burglary Executed

On September 10, 2019, the 15th Texas inmate to be executed was administered a lethal injection. Mark Soliz, the inmate who was executed, was 37 years old when he was declared dead at the state’s death chamber in Huntsville. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, Texas has executed more prisoners than any other state.

Soliz was convicted of fatally shooting Nancy Weatherly, a 61-year-old grandmother, when he and an accomplice burglarized her home during a 2010 crime spree that lasted one week. He and Jose Ramos stole guns that they used to rob several people at gunpoint. On the morning of June 29, 2010, the pair knocked on the door of Weatherly’s Godley, Texas home. When she answered the door, a gun was pointed at her. In Soliz’s confession, he said the two men took valuables and electronics. Weatherly begged for her life, but Soliz shot her. Soliz and Ramos were arrested the next day. Police tracked them down through the license plates and vehicle descriptions of cars they had stolen. Ramos pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Soliz was sentenced to death in 2012. A jury convicted Soliz of killing Weatherly during the burglary at her home. Soliz filed several appeals, but they were all unsuccessful.

Before being executed, Soliz apologized for his actions. He said that he had found God while in prison and was at peace.

Criminal Defense Counsel

Facing criminal charges may literally mean a fight for your life. Texas is notoriously tough on crime. You do not want to go up against the criminal justice system along. The criminal defense attorneys at Navarrete & Schwartz, P.C. know the seriousness of our clients’ situations. We are proud to fight for and defend the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.