TEXAS: Life Sentence For Man Convicted In 2012 Deadly Attack On Teenage Lesbian Couple [VIDEO]

Corpus Christi’s NBC affiliate reports:

A San Patricio County jury has returned a guilty verdict against David Strickland for the 2012 shootings that killed Mollie Olgin and critically wounded Kristene Chapa. Prosecutors were not pursuing the death penalty, therefore the defendant was given an automatic life sentence.

Following the verdict, Kristene Chapa spoke to KRIS 6 News. “I was very shocked at first. I didn’t know what to expect exactly, I was hoping that they (the jury) would see all the evidence that we had and they would go our way. (It was) very emotional.. I wanted to just burst out in tears,” said Chapa.

She told reporter Caroline Flores that she’ll always carry the mental and physical scars of the attack and suffer from the loss of her girlfriend, Mollie. Megan Olgin, Mollie’s sister, said, “She was only 19. She didn’t get to live her life. He took that away from her.” Olgin went on to say, “I’m just happy that it’s finally over. The jury saw the evidence and now finally there’s justice. It doesn’t bring her back. But at least he can pay for what he did.”

Mollie and Kristene were approached by a masked man in the middle of the night in June 2012. He ordered Kristene to place duct tape over her girlfriend’s eyes, then did the same to her, before sexually assaulting both, and shooting them in the head. It was hours later when a couple out for a birdwatching trip found the couple. Mollie Olgin could not be saved, but Kristene underwent years of intense therapy to get back to where she is now.

More from GLAAD:

In the last two years, Kristene has regained the abilities to move the left side of her body, to sit, and to stand. She continues to undergo physical rehabilitation. At the time of the attack, Kristene was without health insurance. Now in her early 20s, she is only covered by Medicaid, which does not provide for the high quality, ongoing rehabilitation she needs to thrive. Her family is struggling to pay for her rehabilitation out of pocket.

Although she has regained the ability to move the left side of her body, sit, and stand, she experiences continued limitations with her hand, among other areas. You can donate to her medical fund to aid the financially draining therapies, which the Chapa family largely covers out of pocket.

Kris, who is now enrolled in college, is working with a writer on a book to tell her story. Kris has also been a visible advocate, sharing her story in the hopes of helping others find comfort and support. Over the summer, she spoke at a #WeAreOrlando vigil in Corpus Christ to honor the victims who lost their lives in an attack of historic proportions at Orlando’s Pulse club.