LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - After deliberating for about five hours, an Angelina County jury sentenced Terry Criswell to 47 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison for the Nov. 15, 2015 shooting death of Kevin Moore Thursday afternoon.
Criswell, 32, of Lufkin, was found guilty of murder Wednesday. Moore died at a Lufkin hospital after he was shot multiple times at the Annie Mae's night club in the Cedar Grove area.
The murder trial for Criswell is being held in Judge Bob Inselmann's 217th Judicial District court. The jury could have sentenced him to 20 years to life in prison.
The state started closing arguments by explaining the importance of deciding the number of years Criswell will go to prison for the murder of Moore. The defense then had their time to make their last arguments for why Criswell does not deserve that strong sentence the state is calling for.
"First of all, I want to thank you, you spent three hours deliberating, so I know you did listen to both sides," Peralta said. "You found Terry guilty of murder. He will be a convicted felon of first degree murder in or out of prison for the remainder of his life."
Peralta said the punishment phase is very different from the guilt or innocence phase, and that the jury will need a much more rounded view of the type of person Criswell is.
"You will now need to know about the Terry that goes to church, the Terry that is a son, the Terry that is a father," Peralta said. "The Terry that has struggled with a troubled childhood out of his control."
He asked the jury to consider how Criswell was raised and to consider repercussions of dealing with an absent father, watching his mother be physically abused, and his struggle with health issues.
"He was diagnosed with mental illness where he was medicated, he went to several state schools, and also the Burke Center in both Lufkin and Nacogdoches," Peralta said. "He was once placed on Social Security because of this mental illness, so it does show that he struggled."
He also told the jury to consider that all of the convictions leading up to age 32 were minor misdemeanors until one too many became a felony. Peralta said he went to church and has potential to be a valuable citizen of society.
"He is not a man of no hope. He does have the ability to be a productive human of society," Peralta said. "Who is placed on Social Security that then asks to be taken off because he wants to go back to work and contribute to the world. To me that is someone who has the potential to be good."
He then asked them to consider the victim and what we know about Moore. He pointed out that no friends, family, or people that know and love him testified in his defense except his Kevin Reeves, his best friend, a convicted felon who lied on the stand Tuesday.
"So what do we know about the victim? We know he has a lot of friends because the court has been full of them all week. We know he has purple car that he kept a handgun in the glove box of," Peralta said.
He also asked the jury to consider what this would mean for the type of person Moore was before he was killed.
"You can tell a lot about a person from the company he keeps," Peralta said. "Now, I am in a very awkward place because the death in this case was a tragedy, any death is a tragedy, but we must also consider all of the evidence presented to us."