Daniels trial continues into its third week
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The capital murder trial of Hollis Daniels III will resume tomorrow morning at the Lubbock County Courthouse.
This is the punishment phase of the trial that will enter its third week.
On February 6, the first day of the trial, Daniels pleaded guilty to capital murder, confessing to the deadly shooting of Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Junior. The shooting occurred on October 9, 2017.
Knowing their client would face the death penalty, Daniels’ attorneys tried to get that possible sentence taken off the table, but a judge denied the motion back in 2019. So after his guilty plea, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
That has been the focus of arguments over the past few weeks, should he live or die?
Through evidence and witnesses, prosecutors have argued Daniels’ motivations were “cold and calculating,” saying that he knew what he was doing when he concealed a stolen handgun, knew what the consequences would be, and tried to avoid them when he fled, taking evidence with him. Also, taking the life of Officer East, who they described as a beloved family man and coworker.
The defense has worked to show the jury he was “out of his mind,” at the time of the shooting, pointing to what they hope will be mitigating factors like a drug addiction. Daniels’s attorneys pointed out that has had no discipline problems while in jail and should spend the rest of his life in prison.
Most recently, we’ve heard from Daniels’ parents about what the defense has said is Daniels’ troubled past. We expect a cross-examination of Daniels’ mother tomorrow morning.
The defense has said Daniels himself will take the stand, which could also happen in the coming days.
We’ll be there for what is left as the punishment phase unfolds, including closing arguments and the jury’s deliberation and decision.
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