WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas - The man who murdered a Hutto police officer will spend the rest of his life in prison.
In 2015 Colby Williamson climbed inside Chris Kelley’s patrol car and fatally struck Kelley. It took jurors less than two hours to give him the maximum punishment allowed on Monday.
Prosecutors asked jurors to give Williamson the maximum punishment, life in prison.
The sentencing phase of the trial for the murder of Sergeant Chris Kelley proved to be as emotional as the guilt phase, starting with the officer who was captured on dash camera video trying to save Kelley’s life.
“Come on Kelley, fight, fight Kelley, don’t give up Kelley, fight Kelley... I just kept doing that and praying, asking the Lord to do something,” said Kelley’s former co-worker Williamson County Deputy Constable Paul Leal.
Kelley’s father told jurors of his son’s eight year career in the air force— deploying multiple times. His last deployment was a ten-month stent in Afghanistan while on the Hutto police force.
“We will never overcome that loss,” said Jack Kelley.
The tearful testimony of Kelley’s wife Michele was the saddest moment. She explained how she told her then seven-year-old daughter and four-year-old son their father was dead.
“Mackenzie came running in and she goes ‘I had the best day ever. I passed my swim test for the first time.’ Immediately afterward, I had to shatter her life. I brought her in the room and I had to tell her that daddy was with Jesus now...She started screaming and she ran into the bathroom because she started vomiting,” said Michele.
Michele met Kelley while they were serving in the air force in 1999. As much as she hurts. She says she suffers most for her children.
“I never in a million years did I think that I would be living this life. But with that being said I wouldn't give it up because he was that wonderful. He was that wonderful of a dad and that good of a husband and a friend that I’m grateful I got to be a part of his life,” she said.
The defense called one witness, Jennifer Herrin. Herrin and Colby Williamson have a two-year-old daughter.
“He’s such a good man,” Herrin said. “I’ve never met anyone else so caring and such a big heart.”
With credit for time served, Williamson will be eligible for parole in 27 years.
The Kelley family says they will attend that parole hearing and every parole hearing thereafter to make sure he is not released.