Jury sends cop killer to death row

HOUSTON It took a Harris County jury about three hours and it was unanimous in its decision of the death penalty. Convicted cop killer /*Mabry Landor*/ showed no emotion as the jury sentenced him to death by lethal injection. When that verdict was read, Landor looked a little nervous inside the courtroom. After the verdict, the judge asked Landor if he had anything to say, and he replied, "No sir."

Then Officer /*Timothy Abernethy*/'s son T.J. took the stand and gave a victim impact statement. He looked directly at Landor and told him, "From the bottom of my heart and in all sincerity, I forgive you. I pray that your family and your children have a very happy life."

The officer's widow told Landor she forgave him.

"We continue to march on. We let Tim and Daddy live through us and be who he was on this earth through us for the rest of the days of our lives. And we go about continuing to do good," said Stephanie Abernethy. "What has happened today is a manifestation of God and his will being done. We do not harbor any bitterness in our heart because, actually, we would be no better than him if we did."

The courtroom was packed and standing room only for closing arguments on Monday morning. Both the prosecution and the defense each asked for 40 minutes to argue their case.

Prosecutors played for the jury the police dispatch call. In the moments after Landor murdered HPD Officer Abernethy in December 2008, police dispatch tried to reach him but the operator was unaware that he'd been shot. An eerie sense of sadness settled over the courtroom as the audience and the jury heard the dispatcher speak those two dreaded words, "Officer down."

Prosecutors then went on to paint Mabry Landor as a cold blooded killer, a man easily enraged who couldn't control his anger.

"He maimed and injured him and left him on the cold concrete, but that wasn't enough," said the prosecutor.

Prosecutors told the jury Landor's actions along with his past behavior, which includes a lengthy criminal history, proves he's a continuing threat to society.

"He served as judge, jury and executioner that day. He never gave Officer Abernethy a chance. He doesn't deserve a chance from you," said the prosecutor.

Defense attorneys told the jury they weren't asking for forgiveness, but rather life behind bars with no parole.

"He will never live as a free man again," said the defense attorney.

They also pointed to Landor's relationship with his ex-girlfriend Lakedra Franklin, characterizing it as a major source of problems in his life.

"This Bobby Brown-Whitney Houston relationship with his ex-girlfriend combined with alcohol and depression explains his behavior," said the defense.

After the sentencing, juror Manuel Chavez told us, "That came into play when we were deciding, but the latter part of his life was just a wreck and we felt that he was going to be a threat to society."

Landor becomes the first Harris County convicted killer to get a death sentence in his original trial in two and a half years.

No one from Landor's family wanted to talk to us.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.