Robert Letourneau sentenced to life in prison after hiring hitman twice from jail to kill ex-girlfriend

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Spring man who tried to hire a hitman to kill his ex-girlfriend back in 2019 has been sentenced to life in prison after a week-long trial, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Tuesday.

Robert Letourneau, 61, was convicted of solicitation of capital murder by a jury on Monday. He was then sentenced to life in prison by District Judge Abigail Anastasio.

His victim and ex-girlfriend, Susan Lawlor, told ABC13 in an exclusive interview that she can finally sleep at night.

"I'm working on forgiving myself," she said during a Zoom call on Tuesday. "I'm working on trusting myself."

Lawlor was forced to flee Texas after learning that Letourneau was planning to have her killed again. She said she spent the last two years in fear, in hiding, and feeling on edge.

"You're always looking behind your back, you're always wondering if that man following you on the street is the next hitman hired to kill you," she said.

According to the district attorney's office, Letourneau kidnapped Lawlor by hiding in the back seat of her car, threatened to kill her and then forced her to withdraw money from her account in the Spring area.

"I was refusing to close the door of my truck and screaming as loud as I could," she recalled. "He told me to stop or he would kill me."

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:


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Susan Lawlor, the woman who was nearly killed by her ex, said getting her life back together has been a tough process and seeing Robert Letourneau was difficult. In the 23-minute interview above, she goes into detail about her time spent with Letourneau and why there were "red flags from the beginning."



Lawlor eventually was let go. Letourneau, who was already out on a $2,000 bond for violating the protective order she had on him, was jailed for violating it again.

After being sent to the Harris County Jail, Letourneau then tried to hire two hitmen from his cell.

"A man walked into my counseling office and announced in front of another therapist, and a room full of clients including kids, that he had just been released from Harris County Jail, and he had been sent there to kill me," recalled Lawlor.

That man would later cooperate with police. Letourneau was eventually charged with solicitation of capital murder. He then tried to hire a hitman again.

An undercover officer posing as a hitman met with Letourneau twice in jail. The officer said Letourneau offered him $5,000 worth of auto parts to carry out the hit.

The undercover officer later returned for a second meeting to show Letourneau a staged photo that appeared to show Lawlor had been shot. Letourneau was so pleased with the "hit" that he hired the undercover officer to kill the witness in his first murder-for-hire case as well.

"This predator is a case study in how fast domestic violence can escalate, which is why we take all allegations of domestic violence so seriously," Ogg said. "Even behind bars, he was a danger to our community."

"Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence, and once you're in it, it's very hard to get away from it," said Nathan Moss, the assistant district attorney. "Not only is it tough to get away but walking away is the most dangerous time. When people are trying to escape from bad situations, that's when things turn deadly."
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