District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced on June 2 the conviction of a Clarence man of 2nd-degree murder and 1st-degree feticide.
Christopher Houston Jr., 28, was convicted by a 12-person jury in a two-day trial in the 10th Judicial District Court.
The conviction is the result of the June 2019 death of Elonzeya Zeoleah Teal Houston, who was married to the defendant. She was five months pregnant at the time of her death.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant choked the victim until she became unconscious and later died, thereby killing her unborn child also. A video statement and confession made by the defendant was played to the jury where he described how he choked the victim. After killing her, the defendant admitted to wrapping his wife’s body in a sheet and hiding her next to their bed. He then told family members that his wife had gone for a walk and that he did not know her whereabouts, Her body was later found by a family member who was searching for her.
Houston was later arrested by Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office Detectives Darrel Winder and Reginald Turner.
Judge Lala Sylvester presided over the trial and set sentencing for Aug. 29. The mandatory penalty for 2nd-degree murder is a life sentence without parole, probation, or suspension of sentence. First-degree feticide, which is a killing of an unborn child, has a maximum fifteen-year sentence.
The case was prosecuted by Jason O. Methvin and J. Chris Guillet.