A man convicted of killing a Dallas dentist suddenly jumped up and tried to leave the court room after his sister broke down on the stand Tuesday.
The sudden outburst came after Kristopher Love's sister, Meisha Beasley, had taken the stand to talk about the close bond she'd always shared with her brother. Beasley was speaking during the sentencing portion of the trial in support of her brother, who had already been convicted of murdering Kendra Hatcher, according to the Dallas Morning News.
After she began to cry, Love, 34, jumped up and kicked the desk or his chair as he tried to walk over to the door leading to holding cells where inmates on trial are kept, KDWF reports.
The surprised jury was led out of the courtroom and a brief recess was held. Love, who was also escorted out of the courtroom, returned after about 20 minutes, telling the judge he had not been trying to threaten anyone or escape, but had just needed a break when he abruptly jumped up.
Love continued to cry throughout the rest of Beasley's testimony. Those in attendance at the trial said the outburst was a rare display of emotion for the man who has been convicted of shooting Hatcher, a pediatric dentist, in Sept. 2015 in a parking garage outside her Dallas apartment.
Prosecutors have alleged that Love was hired to execute Hatcher by Brenda Delgado, who targeted the dentist because she was dating Delgado's ex-boyfriend, Richard Paniagua, Fox News reports. Delgado also faces capital murder charges, but she is still awaiting trial.
Last week, a Dallas jury declared Love guilty of the crime and this week jurors have heard emotional testimony from Hatcher's and Love's families as they try to weigh whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.
Throughout the day Tuesday, Love's family had taken the stand to serve as character witnesses for a man they described as loving father of three.
Beasley also talked about the close bond her own four children had with their uncle.
"He was their first word," she said, according to the Dallas Morning News.
His brother testified earlier in the day and left the courtroom in tears. Love's parents also took the stand. His mother, Vea Love, described her son as quiet and intelligent as a child, but said he began getting into trouble in 5th grade. He'd later go to prison for aggravated robberies, assaults and weapons violations, she said.
“For all the times that Kris has been incarcerated or in jail, I have never heard of him having any problems or anything,” she said, according to KDWF. “Kris has always been very respectful, and no I don’t see any issues.”
Several of his family members also apologized to Hatcher's family, including his father, Kim Love Sr., who said the son he knew would not kill anyone for money or drugs.
"I'm so sorry, y'all," he said to Hatcher's family through tears.
The testimony came one day after Hatcher's family told jurors about all they'd lost the September day Hatcher had been killed.
"She was full of life and full of love," said Hatcher's sister, Ashley Turner, according to Fox News.
She described the murder as "evil."
Other friends and family members of the victim described her as loving and driven. Some talked about her passion for helping others on mission trips or donating her time to build houses for those in need.
The final testimony in the sentencing phase is expected Wednesday. Jurors will then be tasked with deciding Love's fate.
[Photo: Dallas County]
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