, 41, was stabbed in July 1985 by an inmate already serving a 30-year sentence for a murder in Pecos county.
Ramon Mata was conivcted in Walker County of capital murder for Houston's
murder and sentenced to death.
, a resident of Trinity, was stabbed by Mata in the Ellis Unit's employee dining room where Mata and his seven-member trusty crew were working.
was found in a bathroom adjacent to the cafeteria with nearly eight stab wounds to her
chest.Mata used a 15-inch kitchen knife to stab her as Houston
tried to disarm him.
"(Mata) was working under (Houston's) supervision outside the dining hall and just attacked her," Wilbanks said.
...Houston - one of over 138 officers Wilbanks has collected in his book - was a lifelong resident of Trinity and had seven years on the force before she was stabbed.
A grand jury convened in Mata's case three days later, and returned a captial murder charge against him.
Wilbanks said that, oddly, after stabbing Houston
, Mata then stole her car and drove it 300 some yards to the main unit - near the employee dining hall - and turned himself in to authorities.
The state contradicted the claim as "fantasy" and said Mata contradicted Houston's
"gracious smile" and kindness for affection.
funeral was widely attended, held at the Trinity High School auditorium a few days later.Then governor Mark White attended Houston's funeral, as did hundreds of correctional officers from around the area.
had foiled an escape attempt by two death row inmates only three months earlier.Ellis was home of death row until it was moved in 1999 to the Polunksy
Unit in Livingston.Jerry Peterson, who was warden at the time of Houston's stabbing, recalled Houston as a humble, quiet person.
In December of 2003 a training unit was dedicated in Houston's
honor at the Ellis Unit.Houston
was among the first 10 female officers assigned to the unit in 1981.
The Minnie R. Houston Training Facility is one of six regional training centers operated by TDCJ
throughout the state.It provides pre-service and in-service training for security and non-security personnel as well as firearm and chemical agent training.
was one of the pioneers of women in corrections," Peterson said.
...Houston was the first woman corrections officer killed in the line of duty in Texas.