The medical examiner is on the stand this morning, The examiner says that she suffered 15 gunshot wounds and 3 graze wounds. Testimony will continue throughout the morning.
It was an emotional day of testimony in the trial of the man accused of killing one young girl and wounding another— as they were walking home from school.
Kody Lott stood without showing emotion and entered two not guilty pleas in a Fort Worth courtroom Thursday.
In Fort Worth where Lott’s trial is being held on a change of venue, several classmates of the two girls Lott’s accused of murdering and wounding testified Thursday including the friend she was walking home with who was shot but survived.
District Attorney Maureen Shelton stood before a jury during opening statements and said Kody Lott not only planned the attack— but then hid out for 48 hours. She said even he was even monitoring social media for chatter about the alleged crime.
Public Defender James Rasmussen deferred his right to make opening remarks- and then put his arm around his client and testimony got underway.
“I hope Kody Lott gets the fullest sentence he can, and it is a shame the death penalty can’t be, can’t be instated,” Carol Dodd, grandmother of Donovan Cheek, Landavazo boyfriend. “I don’t want him to get insanity because he clearly thought it out, probably for a long time.”
Carol Dodd’s grandson, Donovan Cheek, was dating Landavazo when she was killed.
“They were just so sweet,” Dodd said.
At times, Shelton stopped down because she was so emotional, and that was the case for several witnesses on the stand Thursday.
The first four witnesses Thursday morning were classmates of Landavazo and Smith and were walking home from McNiel Middle School and described what they said happened in that alley— as they were walking home from school — just like they always did on that September day in 2016 when prosecutors said Lott opened fire.
“He would run home from Rider and walk her home every day,” Dodd said.
The students testified they saw a gold SUV stop, then a firearm come from a window and then they heard shot after shot before seeing Landavazo fall to the ground.
A nurse who was one of the first on the scene said Landavazo’s fingers were broken because of how hard she fell another testified Landavazo suffered a gunshot wound to her head and one near her heart.
“It is almost unbearable for parents and family to go back through that again, so it’s been a very emotional day, but I know for them to get it off and out of their system, for her I know it was very healing for her today,” victim Makayla Smith’s grandmother Rev. Pamela Hart said.
And Smith still has physical recovery ahead as the bullet that hit her in her abdomen is still there, and she said still to this day causes her pain.
“It is almost unbearable for parents and family to go back through that again, so it’s been a very emotional day,” Hart said. “But I know for them to get it off and out of their system, for her, I know it was very healing for her today.”
And while this trial is hard on Smith, Hart said their family is proud of how she has handled the situation.
“We are very proud of her today with holding up, her faith in God and trust in God that she would be able to get through it,” Hart said. “She did an excellent job and telling that story and telling her pain and suffering that she has gone through.”
Smith told jurors when she was shot she was so worried about her friends— it took her some time to even realize how badly she was bleeding.
“I think she saved a lot of kids that day because she kept saying she wanted everybody to run, run, she wasn’t thinking about herself, but she wanted the kids to get out of the way,” Hart said.
A Wichita Falls police crime scene technician showed jurors several pieces of evidence from the scene— Landavazo’s binder and a book that you could see bullets went through.
As the trial continues, Dodd said there is something everyone can do to support Smith.
“Just prayers going out for the Landavazo and the Smith families,” Dodd said. “It has just been tragic.”
And many said they will take a seat in this courtroom each day— until justice is served for both families.
Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. and we will continue coverage again Friday.