Hollis Daniels sentenced to life without parole

Jurors in the capital murder trial of 24-year-old Hollis Reid Daniels returned to the 137th District Court Friday evening with a verdict sentencing the Seguin native to life in prison without parole for the 2017 deadly shooting of a Texas Tech University police officer.

The jury deliberated for three days before deciding to send Daniels to prison for the rest of his life. Daniels pleaded guilty to the capital murder of Texas Tech University Police Officer Floyd East Jr., which immediately sent the trial into the sentencing phase.

Jurors heard testimony for nearly three weeks, before starting its deliberations earlier this week. The jury had two choices to make — either sentence Daniels to death, or to give him life in prison. 

The jury had to first answer two questions — was Daniels likely to be a danger in the future, and were there circumstances that might make life in prison the better option in this case? The jurors in the end opted for the latter, and Daniels will now spend the rest of his behind bars.

Baron Slack with the Lubbock County Criminal District Attorney’s Office told the jury during closing arguments that the only excuse Daniels had was the lifestyle he created for himself. Defense attorney Mark Snodgrass told jurors that the prosecution did not have “true evidence” that Daniels would be a continued danger.

East arrested Daniels on October 9, 2017. Officers missed a stolen gun during his arrest, which Daniels used to shoot and kill East at the police station on Texas Tech University campus. 

Daniels ran off and a manhunt was launched to find the suspect. He was captured about 90 minutes later on the Texas Tech campus.

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