Murderer Admits Fatally Shooting Transgender Woman in Houston: Life Sentence Decided

Houston, Texas – A man in Houston, Texas, pleaded guilty to murder in the middle of his trial this week and was sentenced to life in prison for the killing of a transgender woman. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced that the man, Oscar Ariel Sierra, admitted to fatally shooting Marisela Castro, 39, on July 9, 2022. Sierra met Castro online and lured her to a meeting under the pretense of robbery.

During the capital murder trial, Sierra opted to plead guilty to murder in exchange for a life sentence after the jury had been selected and testimony had begun. Surveillance video revealed the chilling sequence of events that took place the night of Castro’s murder. After stopping at a fast-food drive-thru, Sierra shot Castro in the back of the head while she was outside her car, leaving her body in the street before driving away in her vehicle.

“This was a cold-blooded murder that the defendant planned out, set up, and carried out,” Ogg stated. “Shooting a defenseless person is cowardly and despicable, and we hope this defendant spends the rest of his life behind bars.” Assistant District Attorneys Tiffany Dupree and Katie Warren prosecuted Sierra, highlighting the dedication and persistence of the Houston Police Department’s homicide detectives in solving the case.

Sierra, who was 17 years old at the time of the murder, faced the potential of parole after 40 years if convicted of capital murder. However, by pleading guilty to murder, he will be eligible for parole after 30 years, without the option to appeal the conviction or sentence. The swift resolution of the case brought justice for Marisela Castro and closure for her family, thanks to the investigative efforts of law enforcement and the legal team.

The tragic loss of Marisela Castro underscores the ongoing issue of violence against transgender individuals. The case serves as a reminder of the vulnerabilities faced by the transgender community and the importance of addressing the root causes of such violence. As Sierra begins his life sentence, the hope is that justice for Castro will bring awareness to the need for greater protection and support for transgender individuals in society.