ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Luke Sweester took the stand during his sentencing hearing for the murder of Abilene realtor Tom Niblo.
During the hearing, prosecutors asked him what he thinks should happen to someone who committed such a horrible murder, and Sweester replied, “I feel like you’re trying to trap me.”
He then said, “I think we need to love and forgive.”
Sweetser also addressed the family of Tom in court, telling his mother Evelyn Niblo that the wedding she threw for him and his wife Ellouise will always be one of his happiest memories and that he will cherish the relationship he had with her.
Tom’s children were also present and one even had to leave the courtroom when Sweester started testifying. Sweetser said his “heart breaks for them”, and he also said he is keeping Tom’s wife Cheryl Niblo in his thoughts and prayers. She was not at the hearing and Sweetser said that 2016 was a horrible year and that all he can do is send her love from here.
Prosecutors then asked Sweester what he was thinking as he stood in the doorway of Tom’s home on Woodridge Drive and with a gun in his hand and fired shot after shot into his body. They also asked what he was thinking as he fired two fatal shots into Tom’s head.
To all of these questions, Sweester responded, “I can’t imagine.”
Jurors will soon begin deliberating on Sweetser’s punishment. They found him guilty of 1st Degree Murder Wednesday after 12 hours of deliberation following a trial that last 6 days.
Niblo was shot and killed the morning of December 12, 2016.