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May 13, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: Mays sentenced to death

Randall Wayne Mays on Tuesday was sentenced to die for the May 17, 2007, fatal shooting of Henderson County Sheriff's Deputy Tony Ogburn.

Ogburn, 61, was one of two HCSD officers killed after responding to a domestic disturbance at Mays' Payne Springs residence that day. The other was HCSD Investigator Paul Habelt, 63. A third deputy, Kevin Harris, suffered a leg wound in the shootout.

Mays is the first Henderson County defendant to be sentenced to death since Betty Lou Beets in 1985. His attorney, Bobby Mims of Tyler, said a different lawyer has been appointed to handle Mays' automatic appeal to the death sentence.

Family and friends of Ogburn and Habelt hugged and congratulated each other moments after the sentence was handed down by 392nd District Court Judge Carter Tarrance. Ogburn's son, Tony Ogburn Jr., gave a statement outside the courtroom, saying he can't yet find a way to forgive Mays for the death of his father.

"I know I'm going to have to," Ogburn Jr. said, "but not now."

Mays was found guilty of the capital murder of Ogburn last Friday.

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