A man in Montgomery County, Texas, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Aug. 23, after turning down a plea bargain that would have allowed him to walk free.
On Jan. 5, 2015, the Houston Police Department was dispatched to Raymond Lindsey Jr.’s home for a possible domestic disturbance. When they arrived on the scene, the officers encountered an interaction between Lindsey and his girlfriend that allegedly appeared hostile.
While the officers gave Lindsey’s girlfriend time to pack her things and leave the premises, Lindsey allegedly “pointed at each of the officers one by one and individually threatened to kill them,” Chron reports.
Following the threat, Lindsey became violent, destroying a glass coffee table, a flat-screen TV, an entertainment center and a bird cage with a bird inside, among other items in the apartment.
After escorting Lindsey’s girlfriend out of the apartment, officers called for back-up. Lindsey threatened to kill them too as they approached the apartment.
When officers attempted to arrest Lindsey, he resisted by slamming the door on an officer’s arm multiple times. Lindsey was detained and charged with assault of a public servant and retaliation.
Lindsey’s appointed lawyer, Willis Everett Smith, believes mental illness played a key part in Lindsey’s behavior that day.
"I think he was more unstable than anything else," Smith told the Conroe Courier. "Although, I think if you were to ask him, he would think he was fine. ... He'd use religion to justify actions."
Smith filed for a psychological evaluation of Lindsey in March 2015 based on his erratic behavior and flawed thought process. However, despite apprehensions about letters Lindsey sent to counsel filled with “biblical references, conspiracies, delusional beliefs, and illogical conjecture,” Judge Phil Grant deemed Lindsey competent to stand trial.
Because Lindsey had two prior sentences, his punishment range for each of his charges was 25 years to life. Rather than take a plea bargain that would allow him to walk free, Lindsey opted to plea not guilty on the basis of conspiracy.
Lindsey was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison on both charges to run concurrently.
Smith is developing a notice for appeal, which will be handed over to a new lawyer for Lindsey.