A Houston man shot his wife to death after she told him she was leaving the relationship. It’s a decision that will put him behind bars for four decades.
Recently, a Texas judge handed down a 40-year sentence to Ricardo Olivarez, 42, for the shooting death of his wife, Linda Cardona. Olivarez was found guilty and convicted by a jury for the murder after a one-week trial.
“We know all too well that domestic violence can continue to escalate until someone is killed, which is what happened in this case. The most dangerous time in a relationship is when a victim is trying to leave an abuser,” said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, according to the Office of District Attorney.
In the morning hours of Oct. 15, 2017, Harris County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Atascocita, Texas, home of Olivarez and Cardona. The couple had been involved in an altercation. When deputies arrived, the defendant told police he had been struggling over a gun with his wife when it went off. Cardona was rushed to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition, where she later died from her injuries.
Later, investigators uncovered a different motive for the slaying after they learned Cardona wanted to end their relationship.
“He pulled out a pistol and shot her to death because she was leaving him. This was no accident. He shot her in the center of her forehead,” said Assistant District Attorney Robert Buss, who prosecuted the case, according to Click 2 Houston.
Though Olivarez pleaded guilty to the homicide two years after the incident, he withdrew the plea. He was granted bail by the court afterward.
The victim’s family had been frustrated over the slow pace of justice by the court. The trial had been rescheduled four times in addition to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Cardona’s mother, Rosie Peña could not understand what her daughter did to the defendant to make him so angry to kill her.
“I can’t move anything along. I can voice my frustrations, but that’s about all. He’s got an ankle monitor — big deal. He’s still alive; he’s breathing. He should be locked up. He should not be out there,” said Peña, according to Press Reader.
Family members described the 39-year-old mother of two as funny, motivated, and generous even in death. Cardona’s organs were harvested to save five other lives.