A Texas man was sentenced to 70 years in prison Wednesday, April 12, after he was found guilty of spitting at Lubbock police officers during an arrest last May.
Larry Pearson, 36, was arrested in May 2022, for domestic violence after a victim flagged down an officer in northeast Lubbock, prosecutor Jessica Gorman said.
The victim told police that Pearson had 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.
That’s when he 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, the prosecutor asked the jury to consider a number that would “send a message” to Pearson and society. She said Pearson had prior convictions of aggravated robbery and continuous family violence.
“You’re not going to get 70 years for something like this when you’ve never been in trouble before,” Gorman told KTLA sister station KLBK/KAMC.
Defense Attorney Jim Shaw argued to the jury that the sentencing was for a “simple misdemeanor” in a circumstance that got “out of control.”
But due to his prior 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.