Corpus Christi jury gives life sentence in 2017 murder of Mineola man

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On March 1, a jury in Corpus Christi convicted and sentenced a man to life in prison for the murder of a Mineola man there last year.

Anthony James Richardson, age 34 at the time of his arrest, of Springdale, Arkansas, was convicted of the murder of 63-year-old John Harley of Mineola after a four-day trial in 347th District Court. According to an article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, after closing arguments on March 1, jurors deliberated about one hour before announcing they had reached a verdict. Later that day the same jury sentenced Richardson to life in prison.

Mr. Harley worked for his sons who ran a painting business that contracts with businesses in and out of Texas, including Walmart, for commercial painting. Richardson was one of their employees and had been working for the company, according to the Caller-Times, since 2016. Richardson’s wife also worked with the company.

Witness testimony included Harley’s sons, as well as an employee who was at the store in Corpus Christi the day of the attack.

The incident occurred on Feb. 15, 2017 at a Walmart on South Padre Island Drive. That day, law enforcement was called about an injured person at the store. When they arrived, they found Harley lying on the floor in the bathroom in a pool of blood. Mr. Harley died in the hospital three days later.

The Caller-Times reported that Richardson admitted during a recorded interview with law enforcement to punching Harley off a ladder and stomping on his head three times during the attack. The video was played for the jury during the trial.

The Corpus Christi newspaper quoted Prosecutor Erica Matlock saying, “You don’t get to walk on a murder charge because you say `I didn’t mean to do it.’” She also said during her arguments she couldn’t tell why he did it.

Victims impact statements were given by Harley’s sons who read messages from their children about the grandfather they lost. Harley’s stepson, Darion Land, read a note from his daughter saying, “You took my papa. I didn’t get to see him that much, now I don’t get to see him at all. I’m super sad.” The Corpus Christi newspaper quoted Land saying he would see her at home with tears in her eyes because she was thinking about her grandfather, and that was the case for other family members and friends.

“It’s a loss between us that strikes deep in our soul, and it’s never going to go away for us,” he said. “Ever. It’s there until we’re gone.”

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