LUBBOCK, Texas – A 36-year-old Texas man was sentenced Wednesday to 70 years in prison after he was found guilty on two counts of harassment of a public servant for spitting at police officers.
Larry Pearson was initially arrested in May 2022 on multiple charges, including harassment of a public servant, assault, assault domestic violence and violation of a protective order, Lubbock County jail records show.
According to EverythingLubbock.com, a victim flagged down Lubbock police officers last May and said Pearson hit her several times and had a gun. The weapon turned out to be an airsoft gun.
A police report obtained by EverythingLubbock.com stated that the victim has multiple visible injuries to her face, which prompted police to detain Pearson.
While he was detained in the officer’s vehicle, Pearson started kicking at the doors, according to KETK.
Two officers reportedly opened the vehicle door to tell Pearson to stop and that’s when he spit at them, KETK reported.
According to multiple reports, Pearson continued to spit after arriving at Lubbock County Detention Center.
During closing arguments at Pearson’s trial, Gorman asked the jury to consider sentencing Pearson to a number of years that would “send a message” to Pearson and society, EverythingLubbock.com reported. Pearson’s defense attorney Jim Shaw implored the jury to consider that the sentencing was for a “simple misdemeanor” in a circumstance that got “out of control.”
Due to prior convictions, the minimum sentence Pearson could have received was 25 years.
“You’re not going to get 70 years for something like this when you’ve never been in trouble before,” Prosecutor Jessica Gorman said. “If you’re going to live the life of crime, you’re going to do that among other criminals [in prison].”