Man convicted of stabbing Jesus House pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison

Man convicted of stabbing Jesus House pastor sentenced to 10 years in prison

ECTOR COUNTY, TX (KWES) - An Ector County jury convicted Victor Elizario Avila of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Thursday afternoon and sentenced him to 10 years in state prison.

Jurors deliberated for 36 minutes before returning the guilty verdict and another 36 minutes before handing down his sentence, defense attorney Lawrence Barber said.

Avila was also slapped with a $1,000 fine, he added.

He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine for the second-degree felony conviction.

Avila was arrested in February 2015 after attacking and stabbing Jesus House pastor Donny Kyker, according to Odessa Police.

The altercation occurred after he confronted Avila about his alcohol consumption, Kyker testified Wednesday. Jesus House, the Odessa transitional home that had taken Avila in eight days prior, does not allow drinking or recreational drug use.

Avila was agitated by the confrontation, the pastor said in his testimony, and quickly became violent. Kyker was rushed to the hospital with a stab wound in his back.

The defendant also took the stand and testified he acted in self-defense.

"He wanted to share his side of the story and he got to do that in court," Barber said Thursday. "The jury heard all the evidence and they decided what they decided."

Avila's attorney could not confirm if they have plans to explore possible appeal options.

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