LUBBOCK, Texas — Larry Pearson, 36, was sentenced by a Lubbock jury on Wednesday to 70 years in prison after he was found guilty on two counts of harassment of a public servant for spitting at Lubbock Police officers.
“You’re not going to get 70 years for something like this when you’ve never been in trouble before,” Prosecutor Jessica Gorman said.
Gorman told EverythingLubbock.com that Pearson was arrested in May of 2022 for domestic violence after a victim flagged down an officer in the 200 block of Zenith Avenue.
The victim told police that Pearson hit her several times, and that he had a gun. Gorman said that firearm turned out to be an airsoft gun. A police report at the time stated the victim had “multiple visible injuries” on her face. Gorman said after Pearson was taken into custody, he was upset the victim was not arrested instead.
Gorman said Pearson started kicking at the doors in the officer’s vehicle. When the officers opened the door to tell him to stop, Gorman said he spit at both officers. Gorman said Pearson kept spitting after he arrived at the Lubbock County Detention Center.
During closing arguments of the sentencing phase of Pearson’s trial, Gorman asked the jury to consider a number that would “send a message” to Pearson and society. Gorman told EverythingLubbock.com that Pearson had prior convictions of aggravated robbery and continuous family violence. Due to those convictions, the minimum sentence Pearson could have received would’ve been 25 years.
“If you’re going to live the life of crime, you’re going to do that among other criminals [in prison],” Gorman said during closing arguments. Defense Attorney Jim Shaw told the jury the sentencing was for a “simple misdemeanor” in a circumstance that got “out of control.”