Woman guilty of murdering her boyfriend with a steak knife

HOUSTON, TX – Shataraca Denise Pervis, a Houston resident, has confessed to the 2018 murder of her boyfriend, Melvin Maxwell, in a plea agreement. The Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg, declared on Saturday that Pervis was sentenced to 22 years in prison following her plea.

34-year-old Maxwell was murdered by Pervis in a hotel situated in the 6200 block of Richmond Avenue in the Galleria area of Houston on January 4, 2018. The pair had known each other for a month prior to the murder.

Pervis had resided with Maxwell in the hotel for several days. She fatally stabbed him with a steak knife in January 2018, then made her escape. Sharing with her friends that she had committed a murder, she did not provide them with the specifics of her crime.

Maxwell’s decomposing corpse was discovered later that month on a blood-soaked bed in the hotel room. His abandoned wallet was also found at the scene, but its contents had been emptied.

Pervis was apprehended and charged for the murder in June 2021. She entered her guilty plea prior to the jury selection for her murder trial.

Kelly Marshall, an Assistant District Attorney within the Domestic Violence Division of the District Attorney’s office, prosecuted the case, noting, “Justice finally caught up with her after five years when she was confronted with the fact that a Harris County jury was going to hold her accountable for what she did.”

Pervis will be eligible to apply for parole only after serving half of her sentence. The plea agreement also precludes her from appealing the conviction or the sentence.