LUBBOCK, Texas — A Hockley County grand jury on Wednesday issued two indictments against Omar Soto-Chavira, the suspect in the deadly July standoff that killed Lubbock County Sheriff’s sergeant Josh Bartlett and severely wounded Levelland Police officer Shawn Wilson.
The move is the first step in a legal process initiated Wednesday in an announcement by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the sheriffs for Lubbock and Hockley counties, the Levelland Police, and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Hockley County District Attorney Angela Overman, the lead prosecutor in the case, said she will seek the ultimate sentence.
“If he is convicted of shooting and killing a police officer, then I will ask for the death penalty,” Overman said.
Levelland Police Chief Albert Garcia also provided an update on the status of wounded officer Shawn Wilson, who has been in intensive recovery after suffering a bullet wound to the head July 15.
“He is steadily improving every day, and we are very hopeful at some point he is going to be able to come back as a fully-certified police officer once again. We are holding his spot for him,” Chief Garcia said.
Law enforcement declined to say whether they know of a motive in the murder case. They would not give an estimate on when they expect the trial to begin, although District Attorney Overman said she plans to pursue the capital murder charge first. They explained there are still many outlying questions that they hope to answer through more investigation and litigation.
“The question of ‘why?’ is one we are always trying to answer,” Hockley County sheriff Ray Scifres said. “Why someone would do something so bad. That ‘why?’ question will haunt a lot of folks for awhile. But that answer will come.”
District Attorney Overman did indicate this is only the first phase of a legal process, and she does intend to bring more criminal indictments against Soto-Chavira.
“We’ve got more to come,” she said. “We’re just getting started.”