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Murdered police officer's widow, children upset after killer gets life sentence in plea deal

Shelton Jones was originally sentenced to death for killing HPD Sgt. Bruno Soboleski in 1991 but the sentence was later overturned on a legal technicality.

HOUSTON — A Houston cop-killer who had been on death row for three decades was resentenced to life in prison without parole Wednesday as part of a plea deal.

Shelton Jones shot and killed Houston Police Department Sgt. Bruno Soboleski in 1991. Jurors gave him the death penalty but a federal judge later overturned the sentence on a legal technicality.

Since so much time has passed and many of the witnesses have died, the Harris County District Attorney's Office felt the safest path forward was a plea deal. 

"The Soboleski family made a terribly difficult decision in deciding that this plea bargain was the way to go," District Attorney Kim Ogg explained.

The fallen officer's widow and children faced his killer in court and said it's "absolutely unfair" that he won't face the death penalty. 

“We’re glad this part is over but, as I said, nothing will change for us, nothing," Sue Soboleski said. "Everything for us will remain the same. My husband is still gone, their father still gone."

She and the couple's two daughters gave very emotional victim-impact statements that brought many to tears. Tissues were being handed out in the courtroom.

They talked about that knock on their door in 1991 that shattered their lives. 

After waiting for 30 years, they don't think justice has been fairly served.

Soboleski said she hasn't forgiven her husband's killer and she's not done fighting. She wants reforms in the criminal justice system so no one else has to wait 30 years for justice.

Jones didn't say anything in court other than to plead guilty. As part of the plea deal, Jones agreed not to appeal his life sentence.

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