LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Judge Barry Bryan sentenced a Huntington man to 40 years in prison in connection to the September 2012 murder of Daniel Cano Wednesday morning. Rayvon Bizzell, 23, will have to serve at least 20 years before he will be eligible for parole.
It was a ruling that satisfied the victim's mother, but did not bring closure.
"There's nothing they were going to do to him that was going to bring back my son, so there is nothing that would bring justice to me because I can't have my son. You tell me how I can bring my child back, then that would be different," said Kisha Stewart.
Before the proceedings started in the 259th Judicial District Court, Bizzell could be seen laughing, but once Cano's family members walked in the courtroom, Bizzell's emotions changed.
Bizzell pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree murder on February 28 in connection the killing of Cano in the 400 block of East Lynn Street in Huntington in September 2012. According to a past KTRE story, Huntington Police Chief Bobby Epperly Jr. said Bizzell shot Cano over past arguments.
In the sentencing hearing, Defense Attorney Rudy Velasquez called a close friend of Bizzell's aunt, Debby Selman. Selman said the Bizzell has had a hard life.
"His parents were not always there. He didn't have a good mother," Selman said.
When asked about her feelings in the matter, Selman said this is not in character with the Bizzell she knew.
"All this that happened is out of his character. I was in total shock. It's hard to see him in here, because this is a total accident," Selman said.
The defense then called Bizzell to the stand. Velasquez asked Bizzell if he has ever denied the murder.
"No, No sir," Bizzell said.
Bizzell expressed remorse during his testimony.
"I'm sorry that it happened. I was fearful for my life," Bizzell said.
After the trial, Stewart's opinion was not changed on Bizzell's remorse.
"No, No I don't. He flat out said he was going to do that and told more than one person about it," said Stewart.
Bizzell was then handed over to Assistant District Attorney Lane Thompson. He told Thompson the altercation happened because of a phone call he received from Cano and a friend.
"I got a message that he was going to kill me," Bizzell said.
When Thompson asked about the call from the original testimony, Bizell agreed he originally stated that it was actually said that he was going to get him.
Thompson then asked Bizzell about a threatening text message that was sent from Bizzell's cell phone to Cano. The text read: "You have a price over yo head and only one word would stop that. You (expletive) up. You fake, (expletive) (expletive)." Bizzell claimed that one of Cano's friends asked to borrow his phone and then sent the text to Cano.
At that point, Thompson brought up what he believes is the reason behind Bizzell's anger toward Cano. It was revealed that Cano was about to start dating a woman Bizzell would only identify as Betty, and that Bizzell had just gotten out of a relationship with her.
Bryan issued his sentence after calling a recess that lasted about 45 minutes.