LUBBOCK, Texas — In court on Thursday, Hollis Daniels’ father H.A. “Dan” Daniels took the stand. Dan was a Seguin city councilman when he had Hollis, his first and only child.

Dan and his wife Janis Turk Daniels wanted a good, Christian upbringing for their son, so from kindergarten to 8th grade, Hollis went to St. James Catholic School.

It would be Hollis’ 8th-grade year when Dan said he noticed a change in his son’s lifestyle and attitude. He remembered the young teen being very hard on himself back then, and that feeling would continue into his senior year at Seguin High School where he said his interest was waning in almost everything. 

After getting caught with marijuana at school and having some troubles at home, Hollis’ parents took him to a doctor who found out that he had hypoglycemia, which is having low blood sugar. 

During his senior year of high school, Dan said his son was still not progressing in the right direction. 

“I wasn’t aware of any harder drugs until the nightmare occurred,” Dan said.

That nightmare was on Oct. 9, 2017, when his Hollis shot and killed Texas Tech Police Department Officer Floyd East Jr. on campus. 

A drug test from three days after the murder revealed that Hollis had Xanax and marijuana in his system. Dr. Wilkie Wilson, an expert who studies how drugs impact the brain, testified that the amount of the two drugs in Hollis’ system was “strikingly high.” 

Dr. Wilson explained to attorneys Thursday how your brain can become tolerant to Xanax just like it does caffeine, and once that happens, you skip the sedative effects and go straight into the stimulant stage. This is something he believed could’ve happened to Hollis that night. 

Audra Dawn Terzenbach, one of Hollis’ teachers from jail, described him as smart and calm. She said he’s even de-escalated high emotions in the classroom from others. 

A pastor who volunteered at the jail shared some of the same sentiments as Terzenbach. He told the court that Hollis was never threatening toward him. The defense asked him if he trusts Hollis. 

“With anything,” the pastor said. “I trust him completely.”