TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Luke Sweetser has been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his brother-in-law, Abilene Realtor Tom Niblo.

Sweetser has been sentenced to life in prison Thursday afternoon, after a brief sentencing hearing. He was also ordered to pay a $10,000. The same jury who found him guilty of 1st Degree Murder after more than 12 hours of deliberation gave him the sentence. This time deliberations only took a little over an hour.

Before deciding Sweetser was guilty, the jury said they were at an impasse and a mistrial was almost declared, however, they were able to reach a verdict after further consideration.

Luke was convicted after a trial that lasted 6 days, where jurors heard testimony from investigating law enforcement officers, Tom’s wife who witnessed the crime, and several members of the Niblo Family, who detailed an estranged relationship between Tom and Luke and Ellouise Sweester over the family estate, business, and partnership.

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Ellouise (married to Luke and is also Tom’s sister) was upset that Tom was named executor of their late father’s will and was a manager of the family LLC, while she was left out and not even allowed access to the business’ checking account.

An exhaustive amount of electronic evidence was also investigated in this case. Detectives said that it was more than they had ever seen before, and one testified that he personally went through hundreds of thousands of files from electronics seized from just the Sweetser home alone.

Niblo Murder Trial: Details of family dispute surface as testimony gets personal in day 2, suspect tells police he ‘does not have an alibi’

That evidence included many searches, documents, and emails related to what the Sweetsers were trying to do with the Niblo LLC and family partnership, as well as Luke’s interest in weapons, murder, and serial killers.

Niblo Murder Trial: ‘There are worse things than being a killer’ suspect’s journal entries read in court, closing arguments set to begin

Luke was not arrested until after the murder weapon was found by a teenager playing in the creek behind his grandfather’s home in August 2018. The gun was initially too rusty to fire and was not made operable and tested until 2020. Those tests showed it fired the casings found at the crime scene where Tom was shot and killed.

Niblo Murder Trial: Day 4 reveals suspect’s phone off during murder, pings near victim’s family warehouse when turned on

BigCountryHomepage.com will provide updates on other trials as they continue on through the court system. Check back for the latest information.