Randall Mays Sentenced To Death - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/13/08--Athens

Randall Mays Sentenced To Death

Emotions were mixed after Randall Mays' capital murder trial came to a close, Tuesday.

Overcome with emotion, Mays' sisters apologized.  "This has devastated our family," said Sherry Ross.

For others, there was some sense of joy.  "It's been a long week--a tearful week," said Deborah Ogburn.  Her father, Henderson County Deputy Tony Ogburn was shot in the head by Mays last year.  She said she was happy about the verdict.

After more than a week of testimony, it took jurors just under three hours to hand down Randall Mays' death sentence.

"We gave Mr. Mays the best defense that's possible," said Bobby Mims, May's attorney.

Henderson County District Attorney, Donna Bennett said she thought the jury made a very right and just decision.  "I think it was a very difficult decision for them."

On each side of the case, emotions ran high.  Mays, himself, angrily interrupted twice during the state's closing arguments.  Moments later, he was apologetic, apologizing to the victim's families as deputies escorted him out of the courtroom.

For the friends and family of two slain sheriff's deputies, a burden was lifted. 

"It was a relief off me, but it was hard, too," said Tony Ogburn, Jr.

Some said the jury's decision was the right one.  "Justice was served," said Deputy Billy Jack Valentine.

Nearly a year to the day after their loved ones were taken from them, the deputies families look to their memories to heal.

In court, Deputy Habelt's son, Chris said, he had so much respect and admiration for his father.  "He was definitely my hero." 

Deborah Ogburn said after she left to serve in Iraq, she and her father talked many times on the phone.  "We just had a good time when I went to visit him.  I miss him greatly."

"At this time, I don't feel like I can forgive [Mays]," said Tony Ogburn, Jr.  "But I know one day, I'll have to to get to heaven with my dad."

Layron Livingston, Reporting  llivingston@kltv.com

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