Man pleads guilty in Houston-area officer's murder

AP News
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Posted: May 12, 2011 6:50 PM
Man pleads guilty in Houston-area officer's murder

A 26-year-old man accused of fatally shooting a Houston-area police officer has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that will send him to prison for 40 years.

Sergio Robles had been charged with capital murder in the 2009 death of Pasadena police Officer Jess Hamilton, meaning he faced the death penalty or mandatory life imprisonment without parole if convicted. The Harris County District Attorney's office says Robles pleaded guilty Thursday to non-capital murder, allowing the 40-year prison term.

Authorities say Hamilton was responding to a domestic disturbance call when Robles shot him in the head. They say Robles has a history of mental illness that includes schizophrenia.

DA spokeswoman Donna Hawkins says there were conflicting expert reports about whether he was insane at the time of the shooting.