Yesterday a Waco jury sentenced John Carl Arabie Jr. to life in prison for the October 2011 killing of 74-year-old David Loyd Sanders.
After insisting on appearing in shackles and black-and-white-striped McLennan County jail attire to the first few days of his trial, Arabie reportedly wanted to do it up big for his sentencing, which just so happened to fall on his 34th birthday. He lodged a request with the court for permission to appear in a white full-length rabbit fur coat.
It was not to be. Bailiffs feared that should Arabie act up, their Tasers would not be able to penetrate Arabie's furry armor, so the request was denied. Poor Arabie was reduced to a plain-old yellow button-down shirt and khakis.
It's believed that Arabie killed Sanders over a car.
Two years ago, Arabie paid Sanders $850 for a 1983 Mercury Grand Marquis, and Arabie soon found some mechanical problems with the 28-year-old hooptie. Imagine that.
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Two weeks after the sale, he returned to Sanders's home and knocked on the door while the elderly man was watching the Texas Rangers battle the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. When Sanders opened the door, Arabie fired a .380 caliber pistol once in Sanders's face. The bullet entered the elderly man's right eye and exited the back of his skull, killing Sanders almost instantly.
In his defense, Arabie was drunk, said attorney Vik Deivanayagam. That claim failed to move the needle on the jury's sentiments, who were faced with a mountain of damning evidence, including gunshot residue on Arabie's hand. Also, Arabie was arrested about a block from the crime scene, and his DNA was found on a .380 caliber pistol found abandoned in a nearby forest.
Yeah, but not very much of it, Arabie's attorney pointed out gamely.
Again, the jury was not moved, and they took 15 minutes to convict. After hearing about Arabie's criminal past, including convictions for failure to stop and render aid, burglary of a habitation and evading arrest, less that 15 minutes to sentence the birthday boy to life in a place where rabbit-fur coats are never a wardrobe option.