Seguin grad sentenced to life in prison for 2017 killing of Texas Tech police officer

Hollis Daniels sentenced to life in prison without parole in death of Floyd East

Hollis Daniels.

SAN ANTONIO – A former Seguin resident who shot and killed a Texas Tech University police officer in 2017 will spend the rest of his life in prison, according to media reports.

Hollis Daniels, 24, on Friday was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the shooting of Floyd East, according to KCBD and the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.

He pleaded guilty to the capital murder of a police officer, and the sentencing phase of the trial lasted for three weeks in Lubbock County. The newspaper reported that the jury deliberated his fate for 20 hours.

The Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office was seeking the death penalty, but his defense lawyers argued that he was not thinking rationally when he gunned down East.

The shooting happened on Oct. 9, 2017, after Texas Tech police officers took Daniels, then a 19-year-old student, into custody for possessing a controlled substance. The controlled substance was found while officers conducted a welfare check at his dorm room.

Daniels was taken to the Texas Tech Police Department offices, and East was filing paperwork at a computer in the briefing room.

Daniels and East had their backs to each other, and Daniels was not wearing handcuffs, witness Corporal Tyler Snelson said in an arrest warrant affidavit.

When Snelson left the briefing room, he heard a bang and returned to the room to see East shot in the head. Daniels had already left.

The campus was placed on lockdown as officers searched for Daniels. He was later found at the City Bank Coliseum with East’s body camera and a loaded .45-caliber pistol.

According to the warrant, he told responding officers that he “was the one who shot their friend.” He also said he did something “f***ed up” and “illogical.” said prosecutors played audio of the shooting in the courtroom.

Before Daniels shot East, he asked him, “Do you have any family at home?” and East replied “yes.”

During a victim impact statement, East’s family called Daniels a coward and said he showed no mercy.

“ didn’t give him a chance to fight for his life. I pray that justice show you the same, no mercy, and may you rot in hell,” his sister said, according to KCBD.

Before attending Texas Tech, he graduated from Seguin High School. His father, Hollis “Danny” Daniels, Jr., was on Seguin’s city council from 2006-2010 and founded a theater chain, including the Palace Theatre.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.