Linden, Texas – On Thursday February 17, 2022, a Cass County jury sentenced Lorenza Deondra Andrews, age 30, of Atlanta, TX, to 60 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division for the first-degree felony offense of murder. During the four-day trial presided over by Judge Bill Miller, the jury heard from investigators, eyewitnesses, and medical and DNA experts. The evidence showed that on the night of May 17, 2019, Lorenza Andrews was involved in an altercation with the victim, his cousin, Tiran Andrews, and during the fight he stabbed Tiran numerous times before fleeing the scene. The State was represented by Cass County Criminal District Attorney Courtney Shelton and First Assistant District Attorney Nick Ross. The defendant was represented by Coke Solomon of Marshall, Texas.
In closing arguments the defense argued Andrews was acting in self-defense and that he was not the one responsible for inflicting the deadly injuries. The State argued that investigators pursued and questioned other possible suspects, but none of the evidence showed anyone other than Andrews committed the stabbing. The State also highlighted the interview with the defendant conducted by Texas Ranger Josh Mason and DA Investigator Cody Sartor in which Andrews confessed that he, and he alone, stabbed his cousin. Also in the interview, the defendant did not provide any information or explanation that justified his use of deadly force. The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning their verdict of guilty. In a separate punishment hearing, the jury sentenced Andrews to 60 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
“We believe the jury’s swift verdict sent a message to the defendant and all violent criminals who would escalate a minor altercation between cousins into a senseless act of deadly violence,” said First Assistant District Attorney Nick Ross. “The family will never get their loved one back, but seeing his killer sentenced to 60 years in prison will hopefully bring them some small measure of closure. We are grateful for the Queen City Police Department, QCPD Chief Robert McGee, Texas Ranger Joshua Mason, DA Investigator Cody Sartor, the Atlanta Police Department, the Texas DPS Crime Lab, and medical examiner Dr. Amy Gruszecki for their diligent work on this case. With their work and support we were able to take a violent criminal off the streets of Cass County.”