LUBBOCK, TX -- Austin Hasten pleaded guilty Wednesday to the murder of 51 year old Michele Terry in January 2013. He was sentenced to 40 years.
On Friday, January 4th, Lubbock Firefighters were called to 82nd and Avenue U, the Autumn Ridge Apartments, for reports of a fire in one of the units. During their check of the apartment, firefighters found 51 year old Michele Terry dead inside.
According to the arrest warrant, Hasten approached an officer in the apartment's parking lot, and Hasten tried to take the officer's gun. During the pat down, the officer found Terry's drivers license, a knife with blood on it, and a woman's watch in Hasten's pockets and the officer noted in the warrant that Hasten seemed to have blood and soot on him, as well as smelled of gasoline.
Hasten lived two doors down from Terry.
Wednesday, in front of about a dozen family members of Terry's, Hasten pleaded guilty, and then sat to listen to victim impact statements from Terry's family.
Her family said their lives were changed forever on January 4th, 2013, and they spoke about how her death affected each one of them. One of Terry's sisters, Lori, wrote in her statement, "The heartache and pain we have suffered is indescribable. We now have entered a world we never imagined we would be in, but we are here and we have to accept it. We have to move on. We cannot hold onto anger. We cannot hold on to resentment. We will not give Austin that kind of power over our lives. As of today, Austin Hasten is in our past and celebrating Michele's life is our future."
Hasten also addressed Terry's family, saying he was sorry to Terry's family.
Hasten will be eligible for parole after 20 years.
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