Waco Man Given 40-Year Prison Sentence For Murder, Assaulting Men He Met On Grindr


On Tuesday, 20-year-old Damarion Degrate, of Waco, Texas, was given a 40-year prison sentence. This was after shooting at least two men and killing another one after he was able to get them to meet him via a LGBTQ+ dating app.

At first, Degrate had been indicted on capital murder and aggravated assault charges. He pled guilty to a reduced charge of murder. This was for the Aug. 17, 2020, fatal shooting death of 23-year-old Jonathan Breeding of Waco.

Additionally, Degrate pled guilty to aggravated assault. That was for the shooting of Justin Lee Backer, earlier that same day.

Degrate was given 40-year and 20-year prison terms in relation to his guilty plea agreement.

Prior to him being eligible for parole, Degrate will have to earn credit for serving at least 20 years. He will be given credit for the 1,093 days that he has been jailed while waiting for a resolution to the case.

Degrate was apprehended in Fort Worth for the second and third shootings that happened on Aug. 17, 2020. Authorities in Waco stated that all three shooting victims had met Degrate on Grindr.

Police say that two hours after the first shooting, Degrate met up with Breeding. Breeding was shot in his vehicle at about 2:15 a.m., close to the 1400 block of North 34th Street. He died at a medical facility.

That morning, Backer had arrived to a store at North New Road and Bosque Boulevard after being shot. A while after that, authorities found another man suffering from a gunshot wound at North 36th Street and Grim Avenue.

In court, Backer talked about his injuries, disclosing to Degrate that everyday he sufferers from abdominal pain due to the bullets that hit his body.

Degrate didn’t face any charges in the third shooting that happened that evening. A man was wounded but lived, police say.


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