Austin man found guilty, sentenced to 43 years for killing 19-year-old during fight over fireworks


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two days after the murder trial for Jason Roche began, the Austin resident was found guilty for the 2018 killing of a 19-year-old.

According to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, Roche was found guilty on Thursday, March 12.

According to police, at around 1 a.m. on July 4, 2018, 19-year-old Devonte Ortiz was setting off fireworks with his friends at an apartment complex. Roche told them to stop once, then came back later and told them again when the situation escalated.

Ortiz later died in the hospital.

Roche’s attorney argued that Roche was looking out for his elderly and disabled father, whose service dog was being bothered by the fireworks.

In opening statements on Tuesday, the prosecuting attorney said Ortiz had a gun but that it was placed away from him and he was not a threat at the time he was shot.

Roche was found guilty of murder and the jury reconvened on Friday to hear arguments in regard to punishment.

On Friday, Roche was sentenced to 43 years in prison.

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