Randall Wayne Mays Found Guilty Of Murder
By KENNETH DEAN
ATHENS — Moments after hearing he had been found guilty of capital murder his wife called out to him, “I love you Randy,” as he was led from the courtroom.
It took jurors just more than an hour to find Randall Wayne Mays guilty of capital murder in the shooting death of Henderson County Sheriff’s deputy Tony Price Ogburn last May. Mays is also accused of killing Investigator Paul Hablet and injuring Lt. Kevin Harris when the officers responded to a domestic disturbance call near Paynes Springs.
The courtroom was packed as Judge Carter Tarrance read the verdict. “We the jury find Randall Wayne Mays guilty of capital murder.”
There was a quiet but audible “Thank you,” from some members of the audience, which included family members and fellow law enforcement officers.
During closing arguments in the trial — which lasted a week — Wesley Mau, a Texas Attorney General prosecutor, said Mays knew what he was doing when he picked up the 30-06 rifle and began firing and knew that his actions could result in the death of another person.
Mau said the defense team’s claims that Mays was mentally ill and suffering from a delusional episode during the incident was not founded.
“He set his sights on Tony Ogburn and shot him dead. He blew his head off,” he said. “When he is shot and can’t fight anymore, does he think the officers are there to kill him? No, he does not because he gives up to the officers,” he said.
Mau points out that even after Mays killed two of their fellow officers, the other deputies did not kill him, but took him into custody despite their emotions and feelings.
“What we have here in all essence is a defendant who does not want to go to jail,” he said.
Mau said the difference between Mays and the police is that he killed and the police would not.
“When he asks in the tape, ‘What makes me the bad guy?’ this is what makes him a bad guy,” Mau said.
Bobby Mims, Mays’ attorney, told jurors they had all the evidence before them and he knew what the verdict would be.
Mims never denied Mays killed the deputies, but instead explained to jurors he felt delusions impaired Mays’ judgment.
“What happened out there is a tragedy and has devastated many families,” he said. “I know what the verdict is going to be.”
Henderson County District Attorney Donna Bennett drove home the state’s case by saying Mays was a “cold-blooded and calculating killer.”
Henderson County Sheriff Lt. Pat McWilliams said he was elated to hear the verdict.
“I’m glad to hear that. It will finally give some closure to the families and everyone involved,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m sure proud of the jury for returning that verdict.”
Tarrance asked both the prosecution and defense if they wanted to poll the jury and both said no. Mays, however, stood up and said, “I do. I have things to say.”
Tarrance ordered Mays to be silent and Smith County Sheriff’s deputies began ushering him out of the courtroom.
Court is recessed until 9 a.m. this morning as the jury begins hearing testimony in the sentencing phase of the trial.
Mays faces life in prison or the death penalty.