Port Arthur man sentenced for murder

Published 5:10 pm Monday, February 29, 2016

A Port Arthur man was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a 2015 murder on Monday.

Jose Julio Esquivel, 24, of Mexico, received the four-decade sentencing in relation to the July 16, 2015 shooting death of Denzel Jervon Washington, 25, who was found deceased in his vehicle in the 3400 block of 15th Street, according to information from the Jefferson County District attorney’s Office.

The shooting began with a crime spree on July 15, 2015 when Esquivel burglarized a home on Rosedale Drive in Port Arthur. A firearm was taken in the burglary that was later traced to the shootings of Washington and aggravated assault with a firearm of Jafar Hill. The owner of the firearm states it was taken while he was out of town. Esquivel was sentenced to 20 years for the burglary.

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According to court information, Esquivel contacted Hill in order to sell or trade the gun stolen in the burglary in the early morning hours of July 16, 2015. The two met and Hill told Esquivel that he would try to find a buyer. When they met up a second time Esquivel and Hill got into an argument over the sale of the gun and Esquivel shot Hill in the face. The bullet went through the upper lip, shattering his teeth, piercing his tongue, and exiting the left side of his neck. Hill sped away with Esquivel firing four more shots. Esquivel was sentenced to 20 years for the aggravated assault on Hill.

Esquivel was picked up by Denzel Washington a few blocks away and rode around with him for a couple of hours. Esquivel clatter made a statement saying he shot Washington twice in the head and stole money and drugs. Washington was found in his car on 15th Street in Port Arthur. Casings from the weapon used were located in the car with Washington. Esquivel was caught a short time later and confessed to the shootings. He reportedly led officers to where the weapon was hidden. Esquivel was sentenced to 40 years for the murder of Washington.

“These were senseless shootings which were the result of the selfish acts of Esquivel who was only looking to feed his habit for drugs,” Prosecutor Mike Laird said. The case was a joint investigation between the Port Arthur Police Department, and investigators with the Jefferson County Criminal District Attorney’s Office.