Governor Abbott Signs Lauren’s Law Into Effect Yesterday Afternoon
Governor Abbott is making sure what Lauren Landavazo's parents are going to have to do will never have to be done again in the state of Texas.
Back on September 2, 2016, the Wichita Falls community was shocked to hear that two students were shot while walking home from McNeil Middle School. Lauren Landavazo and Makayla Smith were shot by Kody Lott. Makayla was able to recover, but Lauran sadly passed away.
Last year, Kody Lott's sentence came down for life in prison for the murder of Lauren and an additional twenty years for the aggravated assault of Makayla. However, Kody is eligible for parole after thirty years. This means people will have to come forward in 2048, to see if Kody is eligible for parole. People like Lauren's parents will have to see Kody Lott again.
Starting on September 1, people like Kody Lott could possibly never be eligible for parole. Governor Abbott signed Senate Bill 719 which has been dubbed Lauren's law. Current law allows capital murder charges to be pursued at a prosecutor’s discretion for the murder of children younger than 10. The age will now be increased to 15 here in Texas. Which now means prosecutors could argue the option to seek life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"We have a responsibility to do all we can to protect innocent children, and I am proud to sign Senate Bill 719 into law to do just that," Abbott said. This new law will not change Kody's sentencing, but it does help future families that go through these horrific crimes.