Cop killer has outburst in court

April 8, 2010 4:09:01 AM PDT
It was a dramatic day in the punishment phase of the Mabry Landor trial Wednesday. Landor was convicted Tuesday in the murder of Houston Police Officer Timothy Abernethy. And during the punishment phase of his trial Wednesday, the jury heard about Landor's encounters with Houston police in the past. Court proceedings were interrupted by some very tense moments during testimony given by Landor's ex-girlfriend's cousin.

Jennifer Fields painted convicted cop killer Mabry Landor as a monster. She told the jury Landor had an explosive temper and how she often feared for her safety and the safety of her cousin and roommate Lakedra Franklin. Fields explained that Franklin and Landor shared a child but the two were no longer together. She testified that she'd seen him beat Franklin on at least three occasions

"He was very abusive towards her," Fields testified. "I observed him beating her and dragging her across the parking lot."

At one point Landor interrupted Fields and blurted out, "She's lying! You know you're lying!"

Judge Michael McSpadden immediately excused the jury from the courtroom and gave Landor a tongue-lashing.

"If you talk like that again, I'm going to tape you to the chair and I'm going to tape your mouth shut," Judge McSpadden said. "You can look like a gentleman or you can look like a jerk. I don't care. I'm not going to put up with it."

Landor later apologized and the punishment phase of the trial continued. Prosecutors spent the day delving into Landor's lengthy criminal history which includes convictions for DWI, assault and drug possession.

Prosecutors, who are seeking the death penalty, had one law officer after the next recount for the jury their dealings with Landor, which they say often escalated to violence.

Earlier in the day the two Houston police officers who arrested Landor during an undercover drug bust testified. Houston Police Sergeant William Bush told the jury Landor's child was in the car where the drug deal took place.

The prosecution also called A Precinct 4 Harris County deputy constable to testify. Deputy Andre McCall responded to a domestic disturbance at Landor's parents' home back in February 2003. McCall told the jury Landor had been fighting with his parents. He testified that Landor attacked him after he tried to stop him so they could talk.

"He was cursing and yelling at me so I called for back up," McCall said. "He explained that Landor's parents were so scared of their son, his father had authorities issue a criminal trespass warning. It meant that Landor would be arrested if he ever came back to their house."

The defense and prosecution agreed in advance on 10 prior convictions for Landor that could be presented as evidence in the punishment of the trial, dating back to 1998 with driving while intoxicated, drug charges, resisting arrest and failure to stop and render aid charges.

Yesterday, Landor was found guilty of capital murder for killing Officer Abernethy following a traffic stop on the north side at the Luxor Park Apartments. Landor ran, but was caught a short time later.

The judge did tell the jury this will not be finished today, but when this phase of the trial does grow close to jury deliberations, he'll let them know whether or not he'll require them to be sequestered for deliberations.


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