Lubbock Man Sentenced To Life In Prison - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/17/07

Lubbock Man Sentenced To Life In Prison

Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff
Ozell Craft Jr. Ozell Craft Jr.

A Lubbock man is behind bars and set to begin his life sentence in prison.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a Lubbock jury handed Saul Mendez that verdict after finding him guilty of fatally stabbing Ozell Craft Jr. 60 times. 

Saul Mendez was booked into the Lubbock County Jail, about 4:15 Wednesday afternoon. We don't know yet when he will be transferred or which prison he will serve his life sentence at.

After hearing the sentence, Mendez used a folder to shield his face from the cameras.

Investigators connected Mendez to the September 2006 murder, after finding Craft's burning suburban on Avenue K.

Last week a Lubbock County judge declared a mistrial, when a witness claimed that Mendez tried to kill her the same day he murdered Craft.

Tray Payne, Lubbock County Assistant Criminal District Attorney said, "There were some things that were legal issues that the judge kept out that we asked to be put in. And some issues that we just didn't ask because we didn't want the same situation come up."

Craft's family tells NewsChannel 11, justice was served and says they have forgiven Mendez.

"He will have plenty of time to think about what's he's done. Just like I said on the stand I know he will never forget my husband because he's an unforgettable person," said Wanda Craft, Ozell's wife.

Mendez's defense attorney declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.

10/9/07
Mistrial Declared in Saul Mendez Murder Trial
An outburst in the courtroom led to a mistrial in the Saul Mendez murder case on its first day of testimony. NewsChannel 11's Ben Lawson was there and has this report.

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