published : 2023-08-25

Texas Resident Receives 60-Year Sentence for Fatally Stabbing His Girlfriend

Dantravias McNeil Asserts Self-Defense in Murder Case

Depiction of a motel room at night, capturing the gloomy atmosphere with the neon lights from outside partially illuminating the room. Taken with a Nikon D850.

Dantravias Jamal McNeil, a 35-year-old resident of Baytown, Texas, was delivered a 60-year prison sentence on Wednesday for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, 47-year-old Katy Houck.

McNeil pleaded guilty to the horrifying act, which took place on August 17, 2020, at a motel on Garth Road in Baytown, where the couple had checked in for the night.

A sudden disturbance erupted hours after their arrival, leading Baytown Police Department officers to the scene.

Upon arrival, they found a frenzied McNeil with a nearby knife, and Houck lying in a pool of blood within the room.

Emergency crews struggled in vain to save Houck's life, but she was ultimately pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Close-up shot of a female hand gently holding a vintage locket, representing the lost loved one. The focus is on the locket with a blurred background. Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

According to a press release from the district attorney's office, Houck suffered at least 27 stab wounds, including two fatal strikes to her heart.

McNeil was promptly arrested.

District Attorney Kim Ogg expressed deep sorrow over the tragedy, mentioning the nature of domestic violence and its tendency to unexpectedly escalate in severity.

While expressing sympathy for Houck's family, who lost their loving mother and caretaker, Ogg emphasized the seriousness of tackling domestic violence cases.

In an unexpected turn, McNeil defended himself claiming he acted in self-defense during the incident, even asking the judge for a minimum sentence despite his guilty plea.

Conceptual portrayal of justice, an image focusing on a gavel atop law books with the scales of justice in the backdrop. The composition is meant to convey the finality of the courtroom decision. Taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III.

Co-prosecutor Kimberly Garcia revealed McNeil’s lengthy criminal past, including three prior convictions for domestic violence, during which he also claimed to be the victim.

Acknowledging that albeit he pleaded guilty, McNeil shirked taking responsibility for his actions.

Garcia and co-prosecutor Renee Serrato voiced their satisfaction with the verdict, equating the 60-year sentence to a life term given the gravity of the crime.