A Harris County jury sentenced a Spring man to 23 years in prison late Tuesday for murdering his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend in 2016, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
Austin Daniel Hoff, 29, will have to serve at least half of the prison sentence before he is eligible for parole after being convicted of murder for shooting 23-year-old Steven Senter on Sept. 5, 2016.
Hoff's Ex-Girlfriend Left Him After He Caught Him Cheating
Hoff, who was raised in Spring, had moved to the Austin area, where he was an auto mechanic, and persuaded his girlfriend to move in with him.
When she later caught Hoff cheating on her, she moved back to Spring. Hoff eventually started harassing and stalking her, and then went to her home in Spring and parked outside for three hours as he waited for her to come home. She eventually arrived with her new boyfriend, Steven Senter, investigators said.
Hoff Ambushed the Couple, Fatally Shot Senter During Struggle
As the couple tried to go inside, Hoff tried to force his way through the front door. Senter then pushed Hoff away in an effort to prevent him from entering. During a continued struggle, Hoff shot Senter in the chest.
Hoff then took off the shirt he was wearing, got into his car and headed back toward the Austin area. Hoff's father later called him and persuaded him to turn around and come back. Upon his return, deputies with the Harris County Sheriff's Office arrested Hoff and found his shirt as well as the gun in his car, both covered in Senter's blood.
"Cases like this are why we take stalking and intimate-partner violence so seriously," Ogg said. "This man decided to lie in wait for three hours for his ex-girlfriend to arrive at her own house. When she arrived with her new boyfriend, he attempted to force himself into the home, ultimately shooting and killing the new boyfriend."
Hoff Sentenced to 23 Years as Tribute to Senter's Age
On Tuesday, Hoff was convicted and sentenced after seven days of testimony. Jurors sentenced him to 23 years in prison, apparently as tribute to the age Senter was when he was killed, according to Assistant District Attorney Andrew Figliuzzi.
"This case was about a sense of entitlement," Figliuzzi said. "This defendant felt entitled to take back his ex-girlfriend and entitled to kill her new boyfriend. He felt he was entitled to get away with murder."