San Antonio, Texas, June 26, 2017: On Friday, Judge Laura Parker from the Felony Impact Court, sentenced 40-year-old Arthur Whitley to 50 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Earlier that day, Judge Parker found Whitley guilty of the May 2015 murder of his cousin, Michael Whitley.
On May 26, 2015, shortly after 2:00 a.m., the victim 39-year-old Michael Whitley, was sitting in front of a home in the 300 block of Ferris Avenue, on the city’s east side. Whitley was scratching off a lottery ticket when he was suddenly shot twice in the chest and once in the head. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives with the San Antonio Police Department centered on Whitley as a suspect in the deadly shooting after an eyewitness identified the defendant as the shooter. At the time of the murder, the defendant was finishing up his federal parole term for a gun charge at a nearby halfway house.
Evidence later presented at his trial showed surveillance video of a person resembling the defendant, coming and going from the halfway house before and after the shooting. Additionally, cell phone records, including text messages, belonging to the defendant corroborated the video evidence. Whitley was arrested the same day as the shooting. Under questioning by detectives, Whitley said he was sleeping at the halfway house during the deadly shooting.
Murder is a first degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000.00 fine. However, due to the defendant’s lengthy criminal history, which includes numerous shootings, Whitley’s punishment was enhanced to 25 to 99 years or life in prison. Additionally, Whitley is a documented gang member. Assistant District Attorneys Thom Nisbet and Jason Goss from our Criminal Trial Division prosecuted the case against Whitley in Felony Impact Court.