Houston crime: Man sentenced to life for double murder of ex-wife and her new partner

A custody dispute turned deadly when a woman's husband gunned down her and her boyfriend in southwest Houston. That man has received two life sentences for the fatal shootings. Leonardo Llanes, a 51-year-old Houston resident, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of murder. The plea deal, brokered by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, spares Llanes from facing trial and secures two consecutive life sentences.

L. Llanes (Photo: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's Office)

The charges stem from an incident on November 25, 2020, when Llanes took the lives of his ex-wife, 27-year-old Iluminada Marrerro Perdoma, and her new boyfriend, 32-year-old Ernesto Carlos Aguilar Vasquez. The violence erupted over a custody dispute involving their elementary-school-aged son. Upon returning home from work that afternoon, Llanes discovered that his ex-wife intended to take their son to her apartment across the street. Angry wit the custody arrangement, Llanes confronted Perdoma and Vasquez at their apartment complex in southwest Houston.

I. Marrerro and E. Vasquez (Photo: Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's Office)

In a fit of rage, authorities say Llanes opened fire on Vasquez, who attempted to run away. The gunfire spilled into the parking lot, where Vasquez succumbed to his injuries after Vlanes chased him down and shot him multiple times. Perdoma, fearing for her life, locked herself in the apartment's bathroom, but fatally shot her through the door.

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"Domestic violence can have many different forms, and we see over and over again that it can easily escalate to murder, which why we take all allegations of abuse so seriously," Ogg said. "In this case, a mom who was just trying to start a new life and her new boyfriend both lost their lives because a man with a gun got angry and started shooting."

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Assistant District Attorneys Stephany Abner and Steve Walsh, leading the prosecution, emphasized the devastating impact on the couple's son, who now faces life without both parents due to his father's actions. Abner underscored the broader issue of children becoming collateral damage in parental disputes, urging for greater consideration of the consequences in such conflicts.


The plea agreement not only spares the family from the trauma of a trial but also ensures that Llanes will serve at least 30 years before being eligible for parole. Additionally, Llanes waived his right to appeal, providing closure for the victims' loved ones.

As the Houston community grapples with the aftermath of this tragedy, it serves as a stark reminder of the grave consequences of domestic violence and the imperative of addressing such disputes before they escalate to irreparable tragedy.