prison

HOUSTON, Texas (Harris County District Attorney's Office) — A 42-year-old Houston man who gunned down a father in front of his 15-year-old son in 2016 was sentenced to 40 years in prison earlier this week, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Friday.

Mack Watson Jr. was convicted of murder by a jury and sentenced by a judge for chasing down and shooting 38-year-old Tyrone Scyrus outside of Scyrus’ east Harris County home.

“Public safety is our highest calling because nobody should have to fear gun violence anywhere, and especially not right outside of their own home,” Ogg said. “Violent criminals, like this man, who intentionally target and attack people need to be in prison.”

Prosecutors believe the two men knew each other through a third-party, but the motive behind Watson’s actions is unclear.

Court records show that as he drove to Scyrus’ home, Watson put on a mask and told a woman riding with him that he was going to “hit a lick” which generally indicates an armed robbery but can refer to any upcoming criminal activity. The woman, who remained in the vehicle during the murder, testified against Watson in exchange for an agreement that her punishment would be capped at 15 years on a different case.

Witnesses said Watson stopped his car in the street, got out wearing a mask and ran towards the house in the 14700 block of Kenny St. where Scyrus was working on a car in his front yard with a friend. Watson fired his pistol at the two men, and Scyrus’ son and fiancée heard the first shot and watched part of the scene unfold. Scyrus took off running as Watson shot Scyrus’ friend in the abdomen. The friend survived.

As Scyrus ran down the street, he tried to jump over a ditch and fell, breaking his leg. Witnesses saw Watson run toward Scyrus, and as he reached the hobbled man who was trying to crawl to safety, Watson knelt down, put his hand on Scyrus’ back, put the gun to the back of his head, and fired one shot. Then he ran back to his car and drove away.

Watson was questioned the same day and was subsequently charged with murder a few days later.

Assistant District Attorney Tanisha Manning, who prosecuted the case, said Scyrus’ family and the other witnesses will have to live with watching the brutal execution-style murder for the rest of their lives.

“Mack Watson not only took a father, a brother, and an uncle away from his family, he also took away peace from those neighbors and stability from that neighborhood,” said ADA Manning. “To have to relive those memories every day is a different kind of life sentence. No one wins with Watson’s conviction, but at least the family gains closure and justice prevails.”

Manning prosecuted the case with ADA Stephany Abner, and the pair was assisted by prosecutors Nicci Campbell and Traci Gibson.

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