Texas Man Sentenced to Life for Senseless Murder of Woman Who Assisted Him

A Texas resident, Mark Anthony Jackson, 44, has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a woman who had assisted him in purchasing cigarettes, according to court documents. Jackson was found guilty of first-degree murder by a Galveston County jury for the seemingly unprovoked shooting of 27-year-old Karli Hope Hurley.

The life sentence was handed down by a judge in Texas’s 405th Judicial District, a decision previously determined by the Galveston County jury. Jackson’s jail records indicate an “estimated” release date of July 2122.

In the early hours of October 25, 2021, Jackson approached Hurley, a woman he barely knew, at her apartment, asking for a ride to the store. Surveillance footage later captured the two at a nearby gas station. They then traveled to a rural area of League City, where Jackson shot Hurley twice in the back, leaving her in a partially flooded drainage ditch to die from her injuries.

After the murder, Jackson returned to the apartment complex, abandoned Hurley’s car, and tampered with the murder weapon. Hurley’s body was discovered by a passerby the following day, leading to Jackson’s arrest and charges on October 28, 2021. Despite being held in Galveston County Jail, Jackson was granted and posted a $200,000 bond in late September 2022.

The case saw nearly two years of pretrial motions before justice was served swiftly. Jackson pleaded not guilty on the morning of July 17, with his trial commencing later that day. The jury began deliberations on July 19 and by July 20, Jackson was convicted and sentenced. Judge Jared Robinson formalized the sentence on July 24, with Jackson immediately appealing his conviction and sentence.

The motive behind the murder remains unclear. The District Attorney’s office described the act as “particularly senseless,” noting that Jackson was a repeat offender with five separate prison sentences for seven different felony offenses.

Hurley, remembered as an “extremely upbeat person” and “a true bright spot in this world,” left behind a grieving family. The DA’s office acknowledged the family’s immense pain, stating that despite the justice served, they will never be whole again. Hurley, a mother of two who was engaged to be married, was known for her love for her children, writing in her journals, beach visits, vibrant hair colors, and new tattoos.