LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A jury has found a 23-year-old Diboll man who shot a rifle at Angelina County Sheriff's Office deputies earlier this year guilty of six of the seven counts he had been facing Wednesday.
The jury found Day guilty of three counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, two charges of assault of a public servant, and a count of obstruction or retaliation after the deliberated for about an hour and 45 minutes. They found him not guilty of the charge of deadly conduct by discharging a firearm.
During the second day of testimony in the trial, the state rested after the prosecutor presented witness testimony from a cousin of the suspect and a Texas Ranger.
Day was arrested on January 7 after he fired a rifle at Angelina County Sheriff's Office deputies after they responded to a 911 call about a home invasion at a residence on Jenna Lou Road.
The cousin, who also is a neighbor, told the jury how he heard the windows break, and after some time, heard very loud gunshots. He said that there were days Joshua Day experienced good and bad days. He said he later learned that he was angry at something and had experienced thoughts of suicide.
The Texas Ranger said he helped assist in the interview during the investigation. The Ranger noted that when he said to Day, "We want the best for you" Day replied by saying, "Then just shoot me."
Day's mother testified next when the defense presented evidence. The mother said the day started with Day breaking a TV which was in its packaging from Christmas, and she added something "was eating him." She gave an emotional testimony recounting the troubles she was facing at home from the loss of her son, and said she "couldn't to lose another son." She said Day made calls about a home invasion, but then she called 911 to warn deputies that Day was seeking "death by cop."
The mother said that she had known that Day has been smoking marijuana, but did not smell any on him on the day of January 7. At one point, she told the jury she offered to get drugs in efforts to calm him down and change his mind about taking his life.
Day's father told the jury how he had taught his son gun safety. He said Day was good marksman. The state challenged the testimony, posing a question, "If a person made verbal threats, and then shot a rifle in the air, would you feel threatened for your life?" The father replied, "Yes, ma'am I would."
The defense rested.
Prior to jury deliberations, the state made final arguments providing reasons to find Day guilty. The state said Day threatened officers by his actions of shooting a rifle. The defense argued otherwise, saying Day fired the rifle in air, and not towards the deputies. The defense said Day was not seeking to harm deputies, but rather wanted deputies to shot him to end his life. The state counter with their initial argument that deputies lives were in danger.
A jury has been elected for sentencing beginning at 8:45 a.m on Thursday.