The book has closed on one of the most bizarre chapters in the history of Houston's food scene.
On Tuesday afternoon, Michael Warren pled guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; he shot his ex-girlfriend, Sylvia Casares, the "Enchilada Queen" who operates two locations of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen, outside her home in Fulshear in March 2012.
Casares was shot in the abdomen and taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. She spent more than two months recuperating from the injuries.
Warren was arrested after a manhunt that ranged from Texas to his native Louisiana.
Warren's sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 29; he faces two to 10 years on the charge. "We can put on character witnesses to show that Mr. Warren is a person who has redeeming qualities," defense attorney Emily Detoto told the Chronicle.
For her part, Casares has moved on. She used the recovery period to write a cookbook and has returned to full health. "While at home recovering, I had time to stop and reflect on my south Texas roots, the amazing influence of parents and family, and the great foods of my childhood," Casares said two months after the shooting. "Since cooking for me is an expression of love and a real comfort, I began writing down and testing some of the recipes I will include in my cookbook."
She issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
My reaction to the news that Mr. Warren has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony, was one of relief that this chapter in my life will soon be part of my past when he is sentenced.
I forgave Mr. Warren a long time ago, and I am sure he will be sentenced to jail for the appropriate time frame equal to the amount of physical and emotional pain I suffered.
I am so very grateful for the outpouring of love and support I received from my customers, employees, friends and family, all of whom have helped me heal. I am at peace now, and completely free to focus my attention and energies on opening of my new restaurant on Eldridge this August."