LUBBOCK, Texas — The three-week-long hearing for Hollis Daniels has finally nearing the end, as the prosecution and defense both presented the jury their closing arguments. It was a standing room gallery with both families crying by the end of the arguments. 

The defense asked jurors to spare Daniels’s life. They said he was not a threat to society and there was not enough evidence to prove that he would commit a violent crime again. The state argued that the capital murder of Texas Tech Police Officer Floyd East Jr. was enough evidence, and asked jurors to consider the evidence and sentence Daniels to death.

Attorney Lauren Byrne for the defense told the jury that just because the case involves a police officer does not mean it should be an automatic death sentence, they said the death penalty is reserved for “the worst of the worst, not the worst crime.” 

Byrne further argued that if the state had any other evidence of previous violence, they would have presented it to the jury but because there was no additional evidence, nothing was presented. 

The defense team said Daniels had two contributing factors that led to his decisions, suicidal thoughts and drug abuse. Byrne said Daniels had shown many red flags with opportunities for meaningful intervention but was ultimately failed. 

The defense also said he has fully admitted to what he did, but that he was not lost of all hope. 

The state finished its closing arguments with prosecutor Sunshine Stanek. Stanek played a clip of the shooting for the courtroom, where Daniels can be seen racking the stolen gun and asking Officer East about his family, pausing the video right before the shooting.

Stanek told jurors that video and the crime is enough evidence to prove that Daniels is capable of future danger. She also said Daniels had been incarcerated for 1,962 days and while the defense argues that he has had no issues since then, the state said it was because Daniels is a manipulator and a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Stanek says Daniels was on his best behavior because he’s had the death sentence over his head. 

Stanek also told the jurors that as a prosecutor, one of the hardest things she’s had to do is ask the jury to kill Daniels. 

By the end of the two closing statements, Officer East’s wife was crying, and Daniels’ mom was heard sobbing. 

The jury deliberated until 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and would continue on February 23 at 8:30 a.m.