Hollis Daniel pleads guilty to killing Texas Tech police officer

The long-awaited trial of Hollis Daniels, the man who shot and killed Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr., is set to begin with opening statements on Monday. Daniels was in his first year at Texas Tech as a former communication studies student when the incident occurred in October of 2017.

As of Monday morning, Daniels has submitted a guilty plea to the court. A jury will determin his punishment.

Tech PD was responding to a welfare check to Daniels dorm room after his suite mates and mother called the university to check on him, according to a National Public Radio article. Once in the room, Tech PD found drugs and proceeded to take the then 19-year-old into custody for the possession of a controlled substance in his Talkington dorm residence hall, according to his arrest warrant. While at Tech PD offices, Daniels shot Officer East Jr.  

Following the shooting, Daniels fled the scene on foot across the Tech campus, eventually hiding out by the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, according to a police report. Daniels was then taken into custody once again by officers. 

The week following the shooting, Daniels was charged with capital murder of a peace officer and indictment by a federal court on federal weapons charges. Daniels was then placed in the Lubbock County Detention Center with a bond set at $5 million nearly six years ago.

In October 2019, Officer East’s wife filed a civil suit for $1 million against Daniels. A month later, Daniels’ attorneys fought the death penalty off the table, which was rejected.

The trial was set to begin in October of 2022 but was then pushed back to mid-November. Jury selection was narrowed down from around 250 to 12.

Daniels faces a lifetime in prison without parole or a death penalty sentence. The opening statements will take place more than five years after the crime. The defendant, Daniels, is now 24 years old.

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