He was 17 years old at the time of his alleged participation in a Texas City home invasion three years ago that left not only a 19-year-old victim dead but also his two co-conspirators.
Fast forward to Wednesday when a Galveston County jury spent just three hours deliberating the fate of Jacob Alvarado before convicting him of capital murder in the 2020 killing of Colton Nowak, whom police said grabbed a gun and tried to defend himself and his girlfriend. Judge Patricia Grady immediately sentenced him to life with the possibility of parole after 40 years served, which is the term required by law due to his age at the time.
Alvarado was the survivor among three home invasion suspects who planned an early morning intrusion into Nowak’s apartment on March 28, 2020, the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office said.
During the trial that started last Monday, prosecutors presented evidence of Nowak’s DNA on Alvarado’s clothing. They also presented text messaging records that described the planning between Alvarado and Mason Perry, who was a co-conspirator shot to death during the intrusion.
“Perry and Alvarado discussed the robbery and planned to zip-tie Nowak’s hands and feet, and further planned that if Nowak went for his gun, they would shoot him,” a DA’s office release read.
Prosecutors also alleged that Alvarado fired 14 separate shots at Nowak, who was hit 13 times, according to police. Nowak was able to shoot Perry, Alvarado, and Sean Greeness, who was the other co-conspirator killed.
Nowak’s girlfriend was also shot once but survived.
The district attorney’s office said Perry was found wounded just outside the apartment when officers responded to the girlfriend’s 911 call, while Alvarado and Greeness took off in a vehicle, which later crashed about a mile from the scene.
According to prosecutors, Perry was pronounced dead at a hospital, only Greeness’ body was discovered behind the wheel of the wrecked vehicle, and Alvarado admitted himself to HCA Houston Emergency Room with a gunshot just below his neck.
Outside of Alvarado’s clothing, the victim’s DNA, and the message thread, the district attorney’s office said other key evidence in the case included Perry’s backpack, ski mask, gloves, and firearm.