A 36-year-old Texas man accused of spitting at Lubbock Police officers following his arrest in May 2022, was on Wednesday sentenced to 70 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on two counts of harassment of a public servant.
Speaking with EverythingLubbock.com, Prosecutor, Jessica Gorman, said in May 2022, police arrested Larry Pearson in connection with a domestic violence incident after a victim stopped an officer to report the alleged assault.
The victim informed police that Pearson was armed with a gun and had repeatedly hit her. Gorman, however, said it was later established that the suspect was rather in possession of an airsoft gun. A police report of the incident also noted that the victim suffered “multiple visible” facial injuries.
According to Gorman, the suspect began kicking at the door of an officer’s car after he was arrested and placed in the vehicle, and spat at two officers when they asked him to stop. The prosecutor added that Pearson continued spitting after he was taken to the Lubbock County Detention Center.
She also told EverythingLubbock.com. that Pearson had initially been convicted of aggravated robbery and constant family violence, which could have resulted in a minimum sentence of 25 years due to his previous convictions.
“You’re not going to get 70 years for something like this when you’ve never been in trouble before,” Gorman said.
Prior to his conviction, Gorman, in her closing argument, called on the jury to look into a prison sentence that would “send a message” to Pearson as well as society. “If you’re going to live the life of crime, you’re going to do that among other criminals [in prison],” Gorman said in her closing argument.
However, Pearson’s defense attorney, Jim Shaw, told the jury that the suspect’s punishment was for a “simple misdemeanor” in an incident that spiraled “out of control.”