Two-and-a-half years after the death of Lauren Landavazo, her parents have been very active keeping her memory alive now through Texas Legislation that could the age for capital punishment.
Lauren’s parents, Vern and Bianka Landavazo, said they are hopeful the support behind Senate Bill 719 will continue gaining momentum after it passed the Texas Senate and now heads to the house floor.
But it’s not over yet, Lauren’s Law still needs to go through a few more steps before it can be signed into law but the Landavazos have faith it will pass.
On Sept. 20, 2018, Kody Lott was sentenced to the murder of Lauren Landavazo and the aggravated assault of Makayla Smith.
Lott received serve life in prison for the murder and 20 years for the aggravated assault.
But more than two years after Lauren’s death, her parents are watching their daughters legacy live on.
“Our daughter didn’t die in vain,” Vern and Bianka Landavazo said. “I know it’s going to pass and she’s still helping so many people here.”
What Lauren’s mother, Bianka Landavazo is referring to is Senate Bill 719, also known as Lauren’s Law, which would expand capital murder laws in Texas, which is something the Landavazos said gives them hope for future families.
“That’s your worst fear as a parent, something happening to your child,” Vern and Bianka Landavazo said. “We had a lot of apprehensions because we have never dealt with legislature before and it was just amazing.”
If Senate Bill 719 passes, a person charged with capital murder of someone under the age of 15-years-old will no longer be eligible for parole.
Lauren was 13-years-old when she was gunned down by Lott meaning he will be eligible for parole after 30 calendar years.
This is something Wichita County District Attorney John Gillespie said will send a strong message to criminals.
“As a society, we value innocent life we value the lives of children, and if you stalk a child or murder a child then you will face some of the most serious consequences that the law permits,” Gillespie said.
Until then, the Landavazos are can only wait, anxiously as their daughters legacy continues to live on.
Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it will still need to go through the house before being voted on then introduced to the governor.
Rep. James Frank has a companion bill, which got voted out of a House committee Tuesday night.