“That jury, they listened, they cared, they had tears in their eyes—and they could feel the pain of Wichita County,” District Attorney Maureen Shelton said.
A cold, callous, calculated killer—that’s how the district attorney described Kody Lott— minutes before he was sentenced to life for murdering a 13-year-old girl as she walked home from school.
It was a unanimous decision by a Fort Worth jury to sentence Kody Lott to life in prison for the murder of Lauren Landavazo and 20 years for the aggravated assault of Makayla Smith.
With all eyes on Thursday’s sentencing, Texoma’s Homepage team coverage scoured the area.
After the jury handed over the sentence, the teens’ parents were able to address Lott. Vern Landavazo, Lauren’s dad, and Shameka Smith, Makayla’s mom, took the stand Thursday morning and gave victim impact statements.
After he was sentenced to the maximum penalty for both crimes, Shameka Smith told Lott at one point she had pity for him, but after hearing that if he had had more bullets he would have killed Makayla too, she said those feeling left her.
Smith also told Lott how angry she is with those who should have been looking out for him throughout his life.
Then Vern Landavazo stood up and told Lott to look at him while he was speaking to him. He told Lott there were only two things he said that were right during his three-hour confession— that Lauren was beautiful and that she was an angel.
Landavazo told Lott if he had actually just walked up and approached Lauren like he says he originally planned— she would have reached out to him— because she was the type to understand others pain. Her father then told her killer he should prepare for fear, pain and humiliation.
“Grief is a very real physical thing that has the capacity to kill, and we felt like it would,” Landavazo said.
Smith said her daughter cried to her and didn’t understand how something so horrific could happen.
“She said ‘Why mom? Why did it have to be Lauren—she is so good, it should have been me because Lauren is such a good person and didn’t deserve that,” Smith said.
Landavazo went on to say since Lauren’s death, he and his wife feel like they have been guided from above— to continue to let Lauren’s legacy live on.
He also said how thankful his family is since this senseless tragedy for an entire community that has rallied around them and their family.