When Lance took the stand, he testified so powerfully about his father’s violence that some jurors blinked back tears. But prosecutor Mitch Poe interrogated him for mercilessly shooting his father a second time even after Bill asked his son to call 911. The jury split down the middle—six for probation and six for a prison term. One angry juror demanded a life sentence. After days of deliberations, the foreman passed the judge a note that read “We are close to coming to punches.”
After a mistrial was called, the lawyers on both sides, realizing that the chance of another hung jury was high, got together to negotiate. The district attorney’s office settled for a deal: a guilty plea to manslaughter in exchange for a three-year sentence. Lance’s attorneys declared it a victory. In the courtroom, Lance hugged his mother good-bye, asked a few friends to check on her daily, and was led away in handcuffs.