A La Marque man pleaded guilty to murder Friday in the slaying of his ex-girlfriend, who he stabbed more than 20 times while her young daughter slept nearby.

Lorenzo Charles May, 47, was sentenced to 56 years in prison for killing Raquel Mynon Howard in her Texas City apartment last year. Howard was 28.

A Texas City Independent School District employee saw Howard’s 3-year-old daughter walking in a grassy area between Howard’s residence at Del Sol Apartments, 3501 Loop 197 N., and a nearby day care. The toddler had been attending the day care operated by First Love Church, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ott said.

When the school employee took the child to the day care, workers called police. Investigators went to Howard’s apartment and found her body inside.

Howard, along with her mother and daughter, had visited the Galveston County Fair the day before, according to witness statements, Ott said. Then Howard, with her daughter, picked up May and went to the apartment.

May accused Howard of cheating and started to fight with her, leading to the slaying, Ott said.

Detectives interviewed Howard’s daughter, who gave statements indicating May’s guilt, Ott said. It’s unclear whether the girl, who’s now 5 years old, witnessed May stabbing her mother or remained asleep in another room, Ott said.

May turned himself in to the Texas City Police Department two days after the slaying and gave a statement leading authorities to charge him with murder, Ott said.

May had a violent history with Howard. In 2014, May pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily injury to a family member for striking her, Ott said. He was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

“It’s a really, really sad case,” Ott said. “Mom was a working mom and everybody I talked to — all the day care workers — said that little girl was her life.”

May will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence, about 28 years.

Winifred Weber represented May in the 56th District Court, Judge Lonnie Cox presiding.

Contact reporter Chacour Koop at 409-683-5241 or chacour.koop@galvnews.com.

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