37-year-old Mitchell Erin Wachholtz awaited transfer to prison Thursday night, after a Lubbock jury found him guilty of murder Thursday afternoon. Wachholtz shot and killed 21-year-old Chase Pendleton at the 7-Eleven at 34th and Memphis back on July 2, 2007.
Jury members sentenced Wachholtz to serve 99-years in prison. Pendleton's mother tells NewsChannel 11 that she feels justice has been served.
Norma Alvarez took the stand after sentencing. She told Wachholtz her son, Chase, would have forgiven him, because he had a heart and soul. Then she told Wachholtz that he does not have a soul, because he never apologized for killing her son.
"He was a king, 21-year-old, that didn't deserve what he got. I just wanted justice," Alvarez said. An emotional four days for Alvarez ended with her son's convicted killer leaving the courtroom, headed toward a 99-year prison sentence.
"This verdict really means a lot to Chase Pendleton and the family, and it's a sense of justice for them," Tray Payne with the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office said. Defense attorneys argued that Wachholtz's childhood, drug use, mental health, and time spent in prison led him to feel threatened, and defend himself back on July 2, 2007.
"When you don't have a lot, you're going to just do whatever you can to try to find some, what I feel is an excuse, for somebody's actions," Payne said. Prosecutors brought the man standing with Wachholtz in the surveillance video from the 7-Eleven, Brady Herzog, to the stand. Herzog testified that Wachholtz claimed to be part of an Aryan Brotherhood gang in California, and associated with brotherhood members in the Lubbock area.
Alvarez says Wachholtz showed no reaction as she explained he left a hole in hers and her family's hearts. She says an apology, or sense of remorse, would have helped her family cope. "We need just something from him, some sort of emotion, reaction, but he didn't have any," Alvarez said.
Wachholtz's attorney says they will most likely appeal Thursday ruling.
|Courts & Crime|