Shooter that paralyzed Dallas S.W.A.T. Lieutenant in 2007 Sentenced
I only see it fitting to hear about this sentencing just a week before the National Police Memorial Week and at a time when most States are observing their own Police Memorials. Thankfully Dallas SWAT Police Lt. Carlton Marshall didn't have his name read at the memorial and survived what should have been a fatal wound.
I'm sure the defense this dirt bag female used will continue to be a common one for shooting S.W.A.T. officers. Thankfully the good jurors of Texas did not let our great nation down by allowing the "I didn't know it was the police" defense fly. I'm sure in some states, the woman would have gotten away with this heinous crime. What saddens me is that a defense attorney had the nerve to state in court that it would only add to this crime if this mother was taken from her daughter. Are you kidding me? This child's mother shot a fully uniformed Dallas S.W.A.T. officer in the neck and changed his life forever. He lost his hearing, nearly died a couple of times, is confined permanently to a wheelchair, and will probably live a shortened life. Yet the people of Texas should allow her to not be sentenced to jail because she has a child. WOW! If having a child means anything, then most of the convicts in America would get to walk free. Un-freaking-believable. Well, I'll take 45 years and hope she serves it all.
--- Dallas Morning News ---
Moments after a Dallas County jury sentenced a woman who shot and paralyzed a Dallas SWAT lieutenant to 45 years in prison, the officer said he has forgiven her for changing his life forever.
Carlton Marshall, sitting in his wheelchair inside the courtroom, said that although he holds Marisela Villa accountable, he has followed the words of the Lord’s Prayer and forgiven her because he, too, needs forgiveness at times.
“I hold her responsible for the decisions she made,” Marshall said. “She is facing the consequences of her decisions … I don’t have anger or animosity.” Villa shot Marshall in the neck when Dallas police assisted federal authorities serving a warrant in October 2007 at the north Oak Cliff home of Villa’s boyfriend, Clayton Sharpless, a drug dealer now serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison. She told the jury that she thought the police were robbers and that she was protecting herself, her 4-month-old baby, and her boyfriend.
But officers testified that they shouted “police” as the raid was under way. One told jurors that Villa held her child between herself and their drawn weapons immediately after the shooting.
Villa was also sentenced to 20 years in prison for two convictions for drug possession with intent to deliver. All the sentences will be served concurrently.
She showed no visible reaction as State District Judge Tracy Holmes read the jury’s decisions. Marshall, who read the Bible while the jury deliberated for nearly five hours, held hands with his wife Susan Marshall, an Irving police detective, as the verdict was read.
Marshall said that he appreciated the sentence the jurors gave Villa. Usually, he said, officers stand up for citizens — but this time it was the other way around.
“Every now and then, an officer goes down,” he said. “That’s when police officers need the jury to stand up for us.”
Marshall said he’s looking forward to moving forward with his life and he’s hoping to help others in similar circumstances. Although he mainly uses a wheelchair, he can walk unsteadily with a walker. After he was shot, he suffered a stroke and meningitis. High dose antibiotics caused deafness and he has cochlear implants to hear.
“[It’s] nice to put this behind me. It’s been hanging over my head for a couple of years,” Marshall said. “My life is not over.”
Villa’s attorneys, Paul Johnson and Chris Knox, had urged jurors to consider probation or a light prison sentence.
“Carlton Marshall, his life is not going to change if you take away Marisela Villa’s,” Johnson said during closing arguments. “Is it really going to make our society better to take her away from her young child?”
But prosecutors Andrea Handley, Stephanie Fargo and Jason Lord asked for a life sentence, calling it “rather insulting” to think a light sentence wouldn’t bother Marshall, his wife or their two young children.
“If she will shoot at a police officer, who else will she shoot at?” Handley said. “If she will put her baby in that situation, what else will she do?”