ECTOR COUNTY, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- An Ector County jury found 22-year-old Shemar Harrington guilty of Murder in connection with the shooting death of 31-year-old Erika Pena. 

On May 29, 2022, officers with the Odessa Police Department were called to Southwest Oaks Apartments on Oakwood to investigate shots fired. At the scene, officers found Pena, a mother of four, lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to her torso. Pena was taken to Medical Center Hospital where she later died.

Witnesses told police that Pena was shot while trying to break up a fight between Harrington and another man. That man, later identified as LaPaul Scaggs, was later found in an apartment at Southwest Oaks with a gunshot wound to his left arm. He was taken to Odessa Regional Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Scaggs, who is currently awaiting trial on a sexual assault of a child charge, has been “un-cooperative” with investigators throughout the course of this case, according to prosecutors. In court, Harrington testified that he drew his gun in self-defense because Scaggs had previously threatened him with a gun of his own.

Despite that claim of self-defense, and even though the State agreed that Harrington did not intend to kill Pena, Texas law states that intent is “transferrable”- meaning that if Harrington intended to shoot, and possibly kill the man he was fighting, then he intended to kill anyone else who was caught in the crossfire.

Harrington was found not guilty on one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in connection with Scaggs’ injury- he will be back in court Friday for sentencing.