Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
More than three years after her police officer husband was shot dead in a Walgreens parking lot, Michelle Carlino-Webster unloaded on the man responsible.
At the killer’s sentencing hearing on Tuesday, she said she wishes her husband had shot Davon Lymon in the face, and that he had been the one to suffer.
“I wish I could have seen your blood spraying from the massive artery in your neck. I wish you were the one gurgling for your last breaths as you choked on your own blood,” she said. “Oh God, how I wish such terrible things for you.”
As she addressed a packed courtroom, Carlino-Webster called her husband’s killer a monster, a selfish menace with no regard for human life, “a sociopath, a killer, a complete and total narcissist.”
And she asked state District Judge Neil Candelaria to impose the maximum sentence — life without the possibility of parole plus 8½ years minus one day — which he did minutes later.
“I wish nothing but suffering and pain on your worthless, pathetic soul,” Carlino-Webster said.
Lymon, 38, was found guilty last month of first-degree murder and lesser charges in the death of Albuquerque Police Department officer Daniel Webster, who pulled Lymon over near Central and Eubank in October 2015.
As Webster attempted to handcuff him to the motorcycle, Lymon opened fire. And he continued to shoot as the officer sought cover behind his police cruiser. Webster died days later.
Lymon’s conviction for the willful and deliberate killing of a police officer came with an automatic sentence of life without parole, so the bulk of the arguments made by attorneys on Tuesday dealt with whether the penalties for each crime should be served concurrently or consecutively.
Prosecutor Jonathan Gardner of the Attorney General’s Office said requiring consecutive sentences would ensure that “everyone knows you can’t have the murder of police officers within the city of Albuquerque.”
Lymon’s attorney Gary Mitchell, on the other hand, said life without parole was sufficient.
“He will die in prison,” he said.
Candelaria said Lymon must serve the time for each crime in his state case consecutively, and his state and federal sentences must also be served consecutively.
Based on that ruling, Lymon will not begin serving time for Webster’s murder until his release from federal custody, currently scheduled for November 2048.
The benches in the small 2nd Judicial District courtroom in Albuquerque were filled to capacity for Tuesday’s hearing, and additional chairs had to be brought in to accommodate more people.
Attorney General Hector Balderas, former APD Chief Gorden Eden, along with numerous uniformed police officers, attended. Officers lined the court hallway as attendees left the courtroom.
Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, Lymon used his opportunity to address the court to reiterate his assertion that he shot Webster in self-defense. Lymon, who is Muslim, wore a white cap.
Police lapel camera footage shows that Webster exited his police vehicle and quickly drew his gun and pointed it at Lymon. But Webster had holstered his weapon by the time shots rang out.
“I’m black, so I don’t have the right to defend myself,” Lymon told the judge, “I have to let the police do whatever they want to me.”
Lymon said he refused to be another statistic, another black man shot by police.
“These are the consequences if you threaten this black man with death,” he said.
Prosecutors, he said, relied on an impostor witness who had lied about being with him on the night of the shooting, and he criticized the police investigation as incomplete.
While some defendants’ families address the court during sentencing, no one spoke in Lymon’s behalf.
Before announcing his sentence, Candelaria said Lymon’s statement to the court was “totally absent remorse.”
First-degree murder cases are automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court, and Mitchell says he plans to raise between 10 and 20 major issues. Those include the disqualification of Lymon’s initial attorneys in the case, the court’s decision not to read jurors a self-defense instruction, and a comment by a prosecutor that prompted an unsuccessful mistrial request.
Mitchell said he will also raise the question of whether killing a police officer should merit an automatic sentence of life without parole in a state that routinely leads the nation in shootings by law enforcement.