AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man who police say chased after and fought a 25 year old he saw stealing a pizza delivery driver’s car, outside a south Austin Domino’s Pizza in 2014, will serve five years in prison after reaching a plea agreement Friday for manslaughter.
Dwayne Guidry, 25, was killed as a result of the Oct. 6, 2014 fight.
Authorities say customer Joseph Mobley, who was 32 at the time, was picking up a pizza when he saw Guidry stealing the car and chased him down — first in his car with his wife and children inside, and then by foot — and hit Guidry on the back of the head with a hammer and then strangled him. Guidry ultimately died due to asphyxiation after Mobley “choked him out,” police say. Mobley told police he’d strangled Guidry “the right way,” as he’d been taught in the military.
The jury convicted Mobley of manslaughter on Thursday night, deciding he recklessly caused Guidry’s death. After the guilty verdict was returned, by Friday morning, the defendant had agreed to conditions of a plea deal, which include the five year sentence and not being able to appeal the ruling.
“This case was tragic every which way. There’s simply no need in the world for anyone to die for the sake of protecting a vehicle, or any other property. The defendant should have allowed the police to handle it, as they are trained to do so,” said Travis County assistant district attorney, and lead prosecutor on the case, Efrain Delafuente. “The jury got it right.”
Prosecutors said the hammer used in the incident was a deadly weapon, used it to try and injure Guidry.
However, loved ones of the defendant said they were shocked by the guilty verdict and Mobley’s sentence.
“He was a great guy. He’d give you the shirt off his back,” said Sky Edgeington, who says he’s been close friends with the defendant for more than a decade and served alongside Mobley in Iraq.
Edgeington says he was trying to be a Good Samaritan that night. “He pulled the first, you know, military defensive training that we’re trained to do and subdued the guy. Guy didn’t die. [He] died later in the hospital.”
The prosecutor said, “Although the law may allow you to serve as the Good Samaritan, there are parameters. There are limits. We believe that Mr. Mobley exceeded those parameters, exceeded those limits.”
“It teaches you to really be careful and maybe turn the cheek if you see a crime because maybe saving the day isn’t the best thing to do these days,” added Edgeington.
Regarding the plea agreement, Delafuente told KXAN News, “We’re always looking to see if there could be any resolution now that the jury has spoken that he was, in fact, guilty of this offense. There’s always a risk for the state that whenever you do get a conviction, that it will go up on appeal eventually.”
Manslaughter is a second degree felony in Texas, and is punishable by a prison sentence of between two and 20 years, and up to a $10,000 fine.