ABILENE, Texas - UPDATE: Howard Dee Sturgis of Abilene was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child Thursday.
The jurors returned the verdict at about 4:35 p.m. before starting deliberation on a punishment. It didn't take long for the jury to determine Sturgis' sentence: life in prison.
Sturgis will not be eligible for parole due to the continuous aspect of the abuse.
Both sides have rested in the trial of an Abilene man accused of the continuous sexual abuse of two young girls.
Howard Dee Sturgis, 56, is on trial on the first-degree felony charge.
Sturgis, before the jury was brought into the courtroom Thursday, said he didn’t want to take the stand.
Judge Lee Hamilton was preparing the charges to be submitted to the jury.
On Wednesday, Sturgis' co-defendant Chelsea Diaz pleaded guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison as part of a plea deal. The abuse, according to documents, occurred between January 2015 and April of this year.
Also Wednesday, jurors heard testimony from a sexual assault nurse coordinator.
The coordinator learned of the horrific abuse from a victim first-hand and that the victim was quiet at first, but ultimately revealed Sturgis would force them to watch obscene videos and sexually abused them.
KTXS will provide additional details as they become available.
- Warrant: Abilene man used cell phone to force girl into sex for 4 years
- Abilene police: Elderly man paid to watch, have sex with teens
- Prostitution bust at north Abilene massage parlor
- Abilene police arrest Grinch who tried to steal Christmas
- Salvation Army needs your help this holiday season
- Taylor County Sheriff's Office behind the wheel for simulator training
- Man arrested in Brownwood's largest meth bust gets indicted
- City of Early declines using taxpayer funds to pay for lobbyist
- Thousands of toys and dollars collected at Brownwood toy drive
- Brownwood approves retaining a lobbyist after 2 people speak up against it
- Ranger College releases settlement with former professor over sexual harassment allegations
- Brown County veteran being sued by hospital for unpaid fees
- Clyde man indicted for sexual assault
- Dallas Cowboys apologize to Coleman family for mistreatment of their handicapped daughter
- Big County couple says AT&T Stadium mistreated their handicapped daughter
- 1 killed, 2 injured in I-20 crash near Colorado City
- After 5-1 school board vote, Chris Hagler's contract renewed with Anson
- Stamford's James Washington claims Biletnikoff Award as nation's best receiver