Teen Found Guilty Of Beating Mother To Death With Shotgun
Thursday, April 16th 2015, 6:25 pm
By: Tess Maune
A Tulsa County jury has convicted a 19-year-old of first-degree murder for beating his mother to death with both ends of a shotgun.
Henry "Hank" Laird, now 19, was 17 years old when his mother, Linda Laird, was killed on January 22, 2013.
The state said Hank walked out of the house once his grandparents showed up the next morning. Linda's elderly parents found her body at the bottom of the stairs.
Hank was seen at a coffee shop a few hours later, and police officers arrested him the next day.
4/16/2015 Related Story: Trial Begins For Tulsa Teen Charged With Beating Mother To Death With Shotgun
Witnesses on Wednesday testified about the Lairds' violent relationship. The state said 56-year-old Linda was broken because of continued assault and battery by her son.
Numerous friends and family testified Linda was terrified her son was going to kill her.
Jurors heard an hour-long taped confession from Hank Laird on Thursday.
Hank started out by joking with detectives about the handcuffs he was wearing.
He then told detectives he didn't usually drink but got pretty drunk the night of January 21, 2013 and hit his mom, but doesn't remember why and wasn't proud of it.
Hank said when he drinks he goes into a rage.
He said a lot of the night and morning hours were a blur, but he said he punched, kicked and beat his mother with the butt of the barrel of a shotgun.
Hank said his friend, who was also in the house, said: "If you don't stop you're going to kill her."
Hank told detectives, "Right after he said that, I just went off and started doing it again."
He said he had a lot of built up anger and thinks he kept hitting her because he was worried she'd call police.
He said his mother was still awake when he passed out.
The medical examiner testified Linda's death was not instant.
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Hank talked to detectives about waking up that next morning he said, "First thing I did was jump up to tell her I was sorry and I didn't mean it and she wouldn't wake up. She was all cold and (expletive)."
He later said, "I wasn't trying to kill her and I didn't mean to do it. It was an accident."
The defense said the state, at best, has proved second-degree murder and said reasonable doubt shows there are still questions as to who killed Linda.
The state pointed out Hank never implicated anyone else, even though he had the chance.