Clarence man gets maximum sentence in deaths of wife, unborn child


Juanice Gray
Christopher Oneal Houston Jr. of Clarence received the maximum sentence in the death of his wife, Elonzeya “Teal” Houston, and their unborn child.
Houston was arrested June 3, 2019, for the death of his wife, and on Aug. 28, 2019, a true bill indictment was returned by a grand jury charging him with Second-Degree Murder in her death and First-Degree Feticide in the death of their unborn child.
On June 1 of this year, after a two-day jury trial, Houston was convicted by unanimous verdict on both counts.
Judge Lala Sylvester presided over the trial and Sept. 6 sentencing.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant choked the victim until she became unconscious and later died, thereby killing her unborn child as well. She was five months pregnant at the time and had no known medical issues. Court records reveal a similar choking incident on April 1, 2019, that for which she was hospitalized.

This article published in the Sept. 22, 2022, print edition.

A video statement and confession made by the defendant was played to the jury where he described how he choked the victim until she passed out during an argument over money and alleged infidelity. Court records state he did not check on her during the night in question until he awoke the next morning and noticed she was deceased. Houston then wrapped her body in a sheet and hid her in the narrow space between the bed and wall.
“At no time during the night did you call 9-1-1 or seek help from anyone as she lay unconscious breathing her last alone breath while you slept,” Sylvester is quoted.
Houston then left to drop his son at school and shop for new work boots. A family member pried the locked bedroom door open to discover the deceased victims.
Sylvester called the facts “chilling.”
Court documents quote Sylvester, “This court has taken notice of, and has weighed in its decision today, the defendant’s social history and his prior adult criminal record consisting of a prior Texas theft conviction and a prior Louisiana drug conviction.”
Houston was sentenced to life imprisonment without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence in Teal’s death. For the offense of First-Degree Feticide, he was sentenced to the maximum of 15 years at hard labor. These sentences are to run consecutively with credit for time served.
The case was prosecuted by Jason O. Methvin and J. Chris Guillet.