Houston crime: Visiting judge sentences 23-year-old to 6 years for shooting during catalytic converter theft

Ricky Joiner was released twice on bond and became a wanted fugitive both times. Not only was he not punished for being a wanted fugitive, he was rewarded for it.

"Ricky Joiner is the one that rolled the dice, and he came out a total winner," said Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers.

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Back in 2020, Joiner shot one man who asked that we not use his name, so we'll call him Joe.

Joiner shot Joe while he and his accomplice tried to steal Joe's catalytic converter.

"He actually ambushed me and shot me while I was pulling his buddy out from underneath the car, stealing the catalytic converter, and he almost killed me," Joe said. 

"Actually, today is my birthday, I'm 50 years old. I might not be here right now had I not been able to defend myself and fight back."

Recently, Joiner plead guilty to shooting Joe and was sentenced to six years by a visiting judge.

"Six years for trying to kill somebody over a catalytic converter," said Joe. "It's a mockery."

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Emily Detoto is a defense attorney who also worked as an assistant DA. We asked her about the six-year sentence Joiner received for pleading guilty to shooting Joe.

"Six years for shooting someone is pretty low when someone could have died," Detoto said. "I don't know the ends and outs, but that's a pretty low sentence."

Joiner was a wanted fugitive twice. He forfeited his bond two times in less than a year.

"What I'm interested in finding out is what the DA's offer was to this defendant before he absconded versus after," said Detoto.

According to court documents, in 2022, Joiner was offered 10 years.

Instead of taking the deal, Joiner goes on the run. He ends up getting six years.

"You can't script this," said Kahan. "It defies logic."

"They never even charged him with an additional charge of jumping his bond," Joe said. 

Joiner will be eligible for parole in just two years.