A Black man was sentenced to 70 years in prison for spitting on officers during an arrest in Texas.
Larry Pearson, 36, was found guilty on two counts of harassment of a public servant stemming from a May 2022 incident when he was being arrested for domestic violence in Lubbock, Tex.
According to reports, the victim flagged down police officers and told them Pearson had hit her and was armed. The weapon was an airsoft gun, but the victim had visible facial injuries.
Prosecutor Jessica Gorman told news outlet Everything Lubbock that Pearson started spitting at officers after they told him to stop kicking the patrol car’s door. He continued spitting after arriving at a detention center.
Pearson’s defense attorney Jim Shaw argued for a lighter sentence and that the situation got “out of control” after a “simple misdemeanor.”
During closing arguments, Gorman asked the jury to “send a message” to Pearson, who faced a minimum of 25 years for previous convictions for aggravated robbery and continuous violence against family.
“You’re not going to get 70 years for something like this when you’ve never been in trouble before,” Gorman told Everything Lubbock.
“If you’re going to live the life of crime, you’re going to do that among other criminals [in prison],” she said during closing arguments.