Kody Lott sentenced to life plus 20 years for 2016 deadly shooting

Lott was found guilty of murder, aggravated assault

Kody Lott sentenced to life plus 20 years for 2016 deadly shooting

Thursday - 1:25 p.m. - Jury sentenced Kody Lott to Life in Prison for the murder of Lauren Landavazo and the maximum of 20 years in prison for the aggravated assault of Makayla Smith.

Thursday - 12:30 p.m. - Jury is given instructions and sent to deliberate on the sentence for Kody Lott after hearing brief arguments from both sides.

DA Maureen Shelton played the sound of Bianka Landavazo screaming when she arrived on the scene before jurors were sent to deliberate.

Thursday - Noon - Kody Lott stared straight ahead as Shemika Smith and Vern Landavazo told the jury how their lives were forever changed in just seconds when gunfire rang out in September 2, 2016.

The punishment phase of a trial in Texas allows by law, victims or their families to testify under oath to the jury. The victim impact statements are meant to let the jury know, before they consider a punishment recommendation, of any lasting impact the crime they found the defendant guilty of.

Shameka Smith testified about how her daughter Makayla has to talk to her friends on the phone every single day to let them know she loves them. Makayla was with her best friend, Lauren Landavazo, the day she was shot and killed. Smith was wounded in the shooting and still has the bullet in her body.

She says Makayla is scared she won't get to tell her other friends that she loves them since she didn't get a chance to say goodbye that day to Lauren.

Lauren Landavazo's father Vern testified that he and his wife Bianka's lives have forever changed. He had the jury laughing as he told stories of Lauren as a small child and talked about the day she was born. He also said they will forever work to keep her giving and caring legacy alive.

The jury will be back in the courtroom at 12:15 p.m. to be given instructions on what they need to decide on a sentence recommendation for Lott.

He faces 2-20 years on the Aggravated Assault of Makayla Smith and 20-99 to life for the Murder of Lauren Landavazo.

Thursday - 9 a.m. - The jury has returned to the courtroom to for the punishment phase of the trial.

The defense objected to the jury hearing victim impact statements prior to the jury being brought into the courtroom.

Judge Bob Brotherton overruled the defense’s objection.

Wednesday - 5:15 p.m. - Kody Lott was found guilty on both counts of Aggravated Assault and Murder for the 2016 shooting that killed Lauren Landavazo and injured Makayla Smith.

Our crews will have the latest reaction from the courtroom on News Channel 6.

Wednesday - 4:30 p.m. - Jury deliberations have begin.

During closing statements, District Attorney Maureen Shelton tells jurors that the citizens of Wichita County are counting on them to deliver justice.

Defense attorneys argued Lott is mentally ill.

Wednesday - Noon - Testimony has wrapped up in the Kody Lott trial.

Wednesday morning the final witness took the stand. Forensic Psychologist Dr. Randall Davis took the stand. Dr. Davis testified about an interview he had with Kody Lott in August of this year.

In that interview Dr. Davis said that Lott described the crime, almost two years later, like it happened yesterday. Dr. Davis said Lott inappropriately laughed in places while telling him what happened that day.

Dr. Davis testified that Kody Austin Lott suffers from a mental disorder and was suffering from it that day. He also testified that it is his opinion that Lott knew the difference between right and wrong because of his actions before, during and after the shooting.

Dr. Davis has testified in court cases since 1987 and said he has never had a case that offered more indicators that the defendant knew he was doing wrong than in this one.

The state rested its rebuttal case and the jury was sent on break until 2:00 p.m.

When they return closing arguments will be heard. The jury will receive their instructions and will begin deliberations. They will have the choice of Guilty of Murder and Aggravated Assault or Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.

Tuesday - 5 p.m. - Over most of the afternoon, jurors watched the three hours of Kody Lott seemingly boast about killing Lauren Landavzao and injuring Makayla Smith.

Lott said he shot Smith because she did not want to leave her friend. The details he went into during the interview were chilling.

"I was just pulling the trigger as fast as I could it sounded like this (...) and I shot at Lauren and I didn't know if I'd hit her and I saw her friend standing there looking at me and I pointed the gun at her and gave her a couple," Lott said during the interview with WFPD detectives.

The prosecution may call a psychiatrist of their own on Wednesday who also examined Kody Lott. Closing arguments are also expected on Wednesday and after that, the case will go to the jury.

Tuesday - Noon - Court is in recess until 1:30 p.m.

Following Detective Killingworth's testimony, the jury began to watch the three-hour statement Kody Lott gave to police about the murder of Lauren Landavazo and shooting of Makayla Smith.

As jurors watched the video, Lott appeared to be watching the replay of his interview more than two years ago.

At the time Judge Bob Brotherton called for a break, Lott had yet to implicate himself in the shooting but appeared to be trying to work in other potential suspects, like his brother.

When court resumes at 1:30 p.m. the jury will pick up where the video left off.

Tuesday - 10:50 a.m. - The defense has rested. WFPD Detective Allen Killingsworth has taken the stand for the prosecution for the rebuttal.

Tuesday - 10:30 a.m. - Dr. Falls testimony had ended and now the court is in recess. During his testimony on Tuesday morning, Dr. Falls said he did not examine Kody Lott's cell phone to see if anything in it indicated any mood or feelings before or after the shooting.

Most of the morning Dr. Falls was under cross-examination from the state. District Attorney Maureen Shelton read some of Lott's statement to police about a possible racial overtone. Dr. Falls said it's hard to tell if race played a role.

Shelton then read part of Lott's confession which Dr. Falls had watched. Dr. Falls said Lott told him he was hoping to get a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity verdict.

Dr. Falls testified that Lott mentally prepared to shoot Lauren Landavazo. Dr. Falls said Lott put the safety on the gun he used to shoot Lauren and Makayla when putting it into his vehicle. Shelton replied to Dr. Falls saying, "Does that not show he knew the difference between right and wrong?"

Shelton went on to ask Dr. Falls about common sense decisions Lott made during the shooting. Shelton worked to show the jury that Lott was not suffering from a delusion.

As Shelton went over details Lott told Dr. Falls about the shooting, Dr. Falls said just because Lott remembers details does not mean he was not delusional.

Dr. Falls confirmed Lott threw the murder weapon into a field with long grass and followed news media to see where the case was.

Dr. Falls also testified that using words like "caught" and "murder" indicate knowing the difference between right and wrong. Dr. Falls said Lott told officers he was going to keep the murder a secret if he had not been caught.

Shelton passed the witness back to the defense after asking Dr. Falls if after going over his notes of what Kody Lott told him, does it change his opinion on Lott's understanding? Dr. Falls said, "No."

On redirect from the defense, Dr. Falls said Lott's irrational thoughts indicate he was very much confused at the time of the killing.

Dr. Falls said Lott didn't know he killed Lauren in a phone call with his mother and expressed beliefs that she was still alive.

Dr. Falls testified he puts more weight on behavior rather than words when he makes an evaluation. Lott's drug use was also brought up again while under re-direction from the defense team.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Dr. Falls testimony ended and the court was in recess.

Tuesday - 9:15 a.m. - The final day of testimony got underway around 9 a.m. Dr. Brian Falls is back on the stand under cross-examination from the state.

Dr. Falls said he did not review video or audio of the arrest of Kody Lott. DA Maureen Shelton asked Dr. Falls if that seemed important in Lott's demeanor and sanity just two days after the shooting.

Dr. Falls says it is important. Jurors were alert and listening closely to this testimony. Shelton then had Dr. Falls go over all the types of drugs Kody Lott has used.

Dr. Falls testified that Lott was on high on hydrocodone and marijuana when he shot Lauren and Makayla.

Monday - 9 a.m. - Judge Bob Brotherton said Monday morning they expect the jury to begin deliberations on Wednesday.

Jurors watched dash camera video of Officer John Gordon's traffic stop of Kody Lott on September 4, 2016.

The jurors also heard Lott give officers extensive details about what he was doing at Fountain Gate Apartments.

He was also heard giving officers consent to search his vehicle.

Friday - 5 p.m. - Court resumed to a rough start on Friday morning in the Kody Lott trial as the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy of 13-year-old Lauren Landavazo took the stand.

Dr. Emily Ogden showed pictures of Lauren's body, wound after wound. Out of 18 bullets, 15 entered Lauren's body and three grazed her.

Dr. Ogden testified three of those bullets were fatal shots.

CSI Tech Hillary Avelar, who was sent to the hospital to document Makayla Smith's wounds and photograph Lauren also took the stand.

Those pictures were hard to see for some in the courtroom. The defendant, Kody Lott, rarely looked at the photos. Instead, he just stared ahead.

Lott has had a pad and pen in front of him but has not written anything of it for the last two days.

Thursday, CSI Tech Kelly Collins was examining a blanket found at the crime scene and she came across a previously unknown bullet fragment that she believed had been stuck to something and fallen off when the blanket was unpacked from an evidence bag.

Friday, the fragment was documented and entered into evidence. Collins said that can happen but it is extremely rare.

Also, Friday was two big denials for the defense. 30th District Judge Bob Brotherton denied a motion to not allow anything seized after the traffic stop that led to the arrest of Kody Lott.

The defense motion claimed the stop was unlawful and everything that happened after violated Lott's rights under illegal search and seizure.

Judge Brotherton heard testimony without the jury present from WFPD Officer John Gordon. Ofc. Gordon said officers had been briefed on the search for the murder suspect and a call came in about suspicious activity in an area near Ofc. Gordon, so, he went to investigate.

Ofc. Gordon said he caught up to a gold Chevy Tahoe and pulled it over because it matched the vehicle description in a murder investigation.

He said Lott consented to a search of the SUV and brass knuckles were found. Since those are a prohibited weapon, Lott was arrested.

Judge Brotherton said the traffic stop was legal. The second motion was to suppress or not allow Kody Lott's confession to police after his arrest to be presented in this trial.

Judge Brotherton, again, heard testimony without the jury present, this time from WFPD Detective Allan Killingsworth.

Det. Killingsworth was questioned by the state and the defense. He was asked if Lott was advised of his rights before the interview to which Det. Killingsworth said Lott was.

Lott even signed and initialed a form that he was read his rights and understood them. Judge Brotherton denied that motion as well which means the confession will be allowed into evidence.

Court convened Friday evening and will resume on Monday morning at 9 a.m.

Thursday - 2:30 p.m. - Thursday was an emotional day in the courtroom for the Kody Lott Murder trial.

Kody Lott pleaded not guilty to one count of Murder and one count of Aggravated Assault when proceedings began Thursday morning.

After that, Wichita Co. DA Maureen Shelton outlined her case to the jury.

At times, Shelton paused to compose herself in what is clearly an emotional case.

As testimony got underway, the state brought forward young students who were walking home on September 2, 2016, when Lauren Landavazo and Makayla Smith were shot.

Each testified seeing a gold-colored SUV stop near where Landavazo was standing. They described what they saw and heard.

The last witness before lunch was Makayla Smith. She told jurors that Lauren Landavazo was a kind and open-hearted person.

Smith also described being shot and wanting to know if her friend was okay. Smith fought back tears as she described the shots coming from a gold SUV with a young white man with brown shaggy hair behind the wheel.

The jury was silent during her testimony. There were no questions for Smith on cross-examination from the defense team.

That afternoon, the jury heard from a man with an extensive military background.

John Lewis testified when he heard gunshots from his backyard he jumped a fence and came across Landavazo's body.

Lewis said through his military training he knew she was dead. Lewis testified he then focused his attention on Makayla Smith who had been wounded in the shooting as well.

Lewis talked about how he applied first aid to her wounds. The prosecution will continue with more testimony on Friday.

Wednesday - 4 p.m. - Twelve jurors and two alternates were seated on Wednesday in the Murder trial of Kody Lott.

Lott is the accused murderer of 13-year-old Lauren Landavazo in September 2016.

Chris Horgen is covering the trial and spent Wednesday at the Tarrant County Courthouse.

Officials were hoping the jury selection would have been a quick process but it lasted well into Wednesday afternoon.

Much of what was discussed, by both sides, was the "not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict.

It will be an option in this case. Many of the potential jurors voiced their concern as to what happens to a defendant after that verdict is reached.

The decision would be left up to the state. That caused close to 20 people to say they had a problem with the "not guilty by reason of insanity" verdict.

Now that a jury has been seated, opening statements will begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m. at the Tim Curry Justice Center in downtown Fort Worth.

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