LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The family of Retired Air Force Colonel Don McCullough wants the man who killed him to know they have forgiven him. They had the chance to tell 27-year-old Alonzo Lewis that Thursday after he pleaded guilty and accepted life in prison without parole before a Lubbock judge.
The McCullough family says speaking to Alonzo Lewis brought them closure. They wanted the chance to tell him to make the most of his life even though it will be spent behind bars. "I hold no animosity toward anyone," says Margaret Mary McCullough. She says the forgiveness she has for the man who killed her husband comes from her heart and from her life with Christ. "I pray my husband is with the Lord and I pray for the man who took his life," she says.
It was July 9th, 2007 and Alonzo Lewis was walking in McCullough's Southwest Lubbock neighborhood when Police say the he offered Lewis a bottle of water. Later that afternoon, Lewis robbed and stabbed the man 30 times that helped him.
It's been more than two years since the McCullough family said goodbye to the Colonel but Thursday they had the chance to face the man who took him away. "It helped me tremendously to look at him and not feel awful about it," says the widowed McCullough who spoke to Lewis.
McCullough's son James says service to others was the foundation of his father's life. "I wanted him to realize what a hero he took from this world and how he defended the freedom he had and he made choice to lose his freedom forever and has to suffer the consequences of the choice he made," says McCullough who says their families hero is in heaven.
The McCullough family thanks the District Attorney's Office and local law enforcement for helping their family through such a difficult time and allowing them to move on. "The character of his kids and wife and the way they conducted themselves in the courtroom speaks volumes to me about what kind of man we lost," says District Attorney Matt Powell.
The family hopes that Lewis will take advantage of his time in prison. "He's going to be there and needs to spend that time in the box talking to the Lord and getting to know him better," says McCullough's son. "Hopefully he'll find the lord and hopefully see my husband again someday and say he's sorry," says McCullough's wife.
The District Attorney's Office says this is the first case where someone has pleaded guilty and accepted life in prison without parole instead of first standing trial.
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A Lubbock judge accepts Alonzo Lewis' guilty plea for the 2007 murder of Retired Colonel Donald McCullough. More than two years after Alonzo Lewis took Donald McCullough's life his family had the chance to speak face to face with their loved one's killer. More>>