LUBBOCK, Texas – Hollis Daniels, charged with capital murder for the shooting of Officer Floyd East Jr., took the stand for the first time since his hearing.
Jurors heard about his struggle with mental health and extensive drug use, but most importantly why he shot and killed Officer East.
Daniels said his struggle with mental health picked up in high school and at one point he was mixing a cocktail of drugs.
When his defense team asked why he shot Officer East, Daniels said “It doesn’t make sense, I thought I was stuck. It doesn’t make sense, I thought I was stuck, I thought it was all over. I though this was an opportunity to go out, to commit suicide. It doesn’t make sense, there is no rational line of thought that I had.” Daniels told the jury he wanted to go out with a bang.
He said he asked Officer East about his family before killing him because he thought it would make some kind of difference in his decision to kill him or not, and because he wanted it to be Officer East’s last thought before he died. Daniels said there was not a whole lot of logical thought or planning behind it.
During the trial, the Daniels family could be heard crying, and a family member of Officer East left the courtroom and was also heard sobbing from the hallway.
When Daniels was asked why jurors should show him mercy, he struggled to answer but said “I think it’s totally fair to say life for life, totally fair, just equal. But then on the other hand, I think about my family and the truth is I’m biased on my own favor. I don’t want to die, not anymore.”
Daniels said he wants what Mrs. East wants. He told the jury he understands what he did is senseless and unforgivable but understands the decision of his life is not up to him anymore.