Abilene man found guilty of shooting another man to death in 2016, sentenced to 20 years
ABILENE, Texas —
A Taylor County jury has found an Abilene man guilty of the murder of another man who he thought had raped his daughter back in 2016.
Michael Gootee, 39, of Abilene, was found guilty of fatally shooting Donald Perkins in June of 2016.
The verdict left Gootee's family in tears as Gootee was taken into custody.
Gootee turned around and told his family that "It's going to be OK," then sighed.
The State of Texas rested in the penalty phase without ever calling a witness to the stand.
The jury that found Gootee guilty consisted of six men and six women.
Gootee's defense team has delivered an opening statement in the penalty phase and has presented three witnesses to testify about how Gootee is loving, caring and protecting father and to explain how Perkins was a terrible person.
Among those witnesses was Gootee's daughter, who tearfully recounted what Perkins did to her and identified a belt buckle that was presented by the defense team as belonging to her.
The defense team's line of questioning was considered to be irrelevant and multiple objections were made before the defense rested.
Each side of the case was given 15 minutes to give a closing argument before the jury headed out to deliberate Gootee's sentence.
After about an hour of deliberation, the jury sentenced Gootee to 20 years in prison.
Prior to being sentenced Gootee said an emotional farewell to each of the members of his immediate family.
Gootee's defense team said that Gootee will appeal the sentence and Taylor County Judge James Eidson will be appointing an attorney for the appeal of the sentence.
A Taylor County jury will now decide the fate of man accused of a 2016 murder in Abilene.
Michael Gootee, 39, is accused of the shooting death of Donald Perkins in June of 2016.
Closing arguments began early on Thursday morning.
Gootee's co-defendant, Kimberly Mansell Self, 42, took the stand on Wednesday.
In exchange for her testimony, Self will agree to a plea for manslaughter charges, which could result in 2 to 20 years behind bars.