Texas woman who lured man to MS-13 machete, shooting execution on the run, DA says

Man hacked, shot to death for disparaging gang in rap battle

Karla Jackelin Morales, 20, is charged with murder for luring a man to his death at the hands of machete-wielding MS-13 gang members. (Harris County District Attorney’s Office)

A Houston-area woman who allegedly lured a man to a field with marijuana before he was executed by MS-13 gang members is on the run.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office said Karla Jackelin Morales, 20, cut off her ankle monitor and jumped bail just days before her trial was set to begin in October.

Recommended Videos

Morales was charged with murder in the 2018 shooting and machete killing of 24-year-old Jose Villanueva, District Attorney Kim Ogg said.

She was free on a $60,000 bond and her trial was supposed to start on Oct. 25. Her ankle monitor included a GPS tracking device, so without it, authorities have not been able to find her.

The District Attorney’s office said she has family in Honduras and El Salvador but she is believed to still be in the Houston area.

“She helped plan and plot this vicious execution, and somebody out there knows where she is hiding,” Ogg said in a news release. “You can do the right thing by helping deliver justice for Jose’s family, and you can collect a reward for your efforts.”

On July 29, 2018, Morales lured Villanueva to a grassy field near an elementary school with marijuana, a belated birthday gift, the office said.

Once there, five MS-13 gang members hacked him with machetes. They then shot Villanueva as he tried to crawl away.

Authorities said he had been in hiding for allegedly disparaging the gang during a rap battle.

The five men have since been convicted and sentenced in the slaying.

Anyone with information about Morales’s whereabouts is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. Crime Stoppers of Houston is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to her capture.

Morales goes by the nicknames “Cherry,” “Karlita,” “Missy” and “Foxy,” authorities said. She is 5-feet tall with a heavy build, has black hair, has brown eyes, and has tattoos including “Alicia” on her upper left chest.

In addition to murder, she has also been charged with bond jumping, authorities said.

Read also:

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Recommended Videos