Jury recommends life without parole for Dawan Mulazim
Day two of sentencing in the case of a man convicted of killing a U.S. Marine five years ago ended with the jury recommending a sentence of life without parole.
On Monday, Dawan Mulazim was found guilty of murder and robbery in the shooting that killed Jonathan Price and injured his wife. Back in 2014, the couple was waiting for a ride outside of Austin City Saloon when investigators say Mulazim and another man robbed and shot them.
The jury considered a range of sentences, including no less than 20 years, life without the possibility of parole, and the death penalty.
On Tuesday the jury heard emotional testimony from Price’s mother and his widow, both describing what type of man he was and the things they now miss - things like seeing him be a father.
Wednesday, the jury heard from several of Mulazim's family members,
An analyst of geographic information also discussed risk factors in the neighborhood Mulazim grew up in. A psychologist and a childhood friend also testified, as well as three of Mulazim’s nieces, who begged the jury to not sentence him to life.
Mulazim spoke from the floor during one of his niece's testimonies.
"I just feel like if we lose him, I'm not going to have anyone to talk to. Nobody is going to be there," said the tearful woman.
Mulazim interjected then, saying, "I'll always be there. Always."
The jury also heard from an Islam professor. Since beginning his time in jail, Mulazim began practicing that religion.
Once the defense finished with their witnesses, prosecutors put the focus back on the victims in their closing arguments.
"They said it's rough when he's locked up because they can't see him," argued prosecutor Kathryn Webster. "How does the Price family feel? They can't call Jonathan on the phone, they can't e-mail him, they can't go visit him except in a graveyard. He is gone. They'll never see him again."
Prosecutors also reminded the jurors of Mulazim's lengthy criminal history, and the fact he was on parole when he killed Price.
Mulazim is already serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery he was convicted of in his initial trial, during which investigators said the gun used in the Austin City shooting was stolen.