ORANGE COUNTY - by Ashley Gaston - A judge has sentenced a teenager to 20 years behind bars for murder after the 15-year-old admitted killing a woman at her home in Orange County.
Prosecutors aren't releasing the teenager's name or relationship to the victim because he is a juvenile, but in the past they've said her son was the only other person at home with Staci Lisenby at the time of the murder.
The 46-year-old teacher was shot and killed inside her home in Orangefield on February 20 of last year. She died the next day at a hospital.
According to previous KFDM News reports, Lisenby's son made incriminating statements about what happened.
The courtroom was empty during the plea and sentencing, except for the teen's family and friends, the judge, the attorneys and the bailiffs. That's because the case involved a juvenile.
Following the sentencing, Orange County prosecutor Kim Hobbs told KFDM News the teenager cried in the courtroom, along with his father, grandmother, brothers, sister and family friends. Once the hearing ended, investigators escorted the 15-year-old to a juvenile jail.
The teen told Judge Troy Johnson he intentionally and knowingly murdered his mother. The boy was 14 at the time of the shooting February 20, 2011. He lived with Staci Lisenby and her husband at their home on Oilla Road in Orangefield.
The teen called 911 and said an intruder shot his mother. His father was at church. Investigators found Lisenby lying on the kitchen floor, bleeding from a wound to the back of the head. She was shot with a 22 caliber gun.
Prosecutors told KFDM even though the teen admitted to the shooting, he never gave the judge a clear motive. According to court documents KFDM News obtained shortly after the killing, investigators learned that in the week prior to the shooting, the son had made statements to a juvenile friend that he was tired of how strict his parents were and that he intended on killing them both and running away.
The prosecutor said this case was especially tough because the Lisenby family represents the victim and the defendant.
"There is no happy ending in this case," prosecutor Kim Hobbs told KFDM News. "The family is torn apart. We feel like we did get justice for Stacie Lisenby, Orange County and the State of Texas. But there is no happy ending and the family will have to figure out how to move forward."
The teenager will remain in the Texas juvenile justice system until he's 19, according to Hobbs, after which he'll be transferred to an adult prison.
The teen must serve at least ten years, until he's 25, before he's eligible for parole.
Earlier report - ORANGE - KFDM News was at the Orange County Courthouse Wednesday morning when a juvenile admitted his guilt in murdering Staci Lisenby at her Orangefield home February 20, 2011.
Lisenby, a teacher in Orangefield, was shot in the head and died one day after the shooting.
Although prosecutors aren't releasing the name of the 15-year-old, according to previous KFDM reports, Lisenby's son was the only other person at the home at the time of the shooting and made incriminating statements about what happened.
Judge Troy Johnson sentenced the juvenile to 20 years confinement based on determinate sentencing provisions of the Texas Family Code.
He'll begin his sentence in a juvenile facility and will remain there until adulthood. At that time, he'll be transferred to the adult prison system to finish his sentence.
Previous KFDM News report - ORANGE COUNTY - KFDM News has obtained a Probable Cause Affidavit investigators in Orange County used to get a search warrant for the home and property belonging to Staci Lisenby and her family, and according to the document, the teacher's 14-year-old son made incriminating statements before and after the shooting death.
The 46-year-old Lisenby was shot in the head on Sunday, Feburary 20, 2011, inside her home on Oilla Road in Orangefield. She died the next day.
Investigators from the sheriff's office are waiting for an arrest warrant to take a 14-year-old suspect into custody.
Although Sheriff Keith Merritt hasn't identified the teen suspect he said the teacher's 14-year-old son was the only other person at the home at the time of the shooting.
According to statements from the sheriff, and from the Probable Cause Affidavit obtained by KFDM News anchor Ashley Gaston, Lisenby's 14-year-old son called 9-1-1 shortly before 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2011, to report an intruder shot his mother in the head.
When deputies arrived at the home they found Staci Lisenby lying on the kitchen floor bleeding from a wound to the back of the head.
According to the Probable Cause Affidavit she was shot with a .22 caliber bullet.
The son told investigators he and his mother were home alone at the time of the shooting.
According to the document, the son told officers "he was laying on the couch in the living room and his mother was sitting at a small desk at the corner of the living room."
The teen said, "His father had left for church earlier, and that his brother who had also been in the residence earlier, left to go back to Huntsville to school."
The document continues, saying the teen "suddenly heard a shot and turned and saw an unknown white male opening and fleeing out the front door of the residence."
According to the document, the son told the investigator, "He chased the subject out the door and to the left towards a wooded area but realized he could not catch the subject. He returned to the residence and called 9-1-1."
The son said "He did not see the gun used to shoot his mother."
The affidavit said it's important to note, "The area where the son said intruder fled was soaked with water and mud and investigators could not find any evidence to indicate anyone had walked or run through that area."
The document states investigators learned that in the week prior to the shooting the son had made statements to a juvenile friend that he was "tired of how strict his parents were and that he intended on killing them both and then running away."
An investigator with the D.A.'s office interviewed another juvenile who told him that when the juvenile asked the teacher's son about the .22 caliber revolver authorities believe was used in the shooting, the teacher's son said, "I got rid of that pistol. It's gone forever."
KFDM News was outside the home on Friday when investigators with a search warrant canvassed the property searching for the weapon.
The sheriff said they found key evidence confirming the crime was not committed by a stranger. KFDM saw officers draining a waterway on the property while looking for a gun.
Investigators say they received information, indicating the son found the .22 caliber revolver in the attic of his home and kept it hidden from his parents.
The sheriff's office said it expects to get an arrest warrant as early as Tuesday.
The following are some of the key points in the Probable Cause Affidavit for the Search Warrant:
*It is the belief of the Affiant that said party has possession of and is concealing at said suspected place the following property: physical evidence, to wit: a .22 caliber handgun. Said property constitutes evidence of an offense, to wit: Murder and said property contains and consists of evidence tending to show that a particular person committed the said offense.
*Affiant has probable cause for said belief by reason of the following facts and circumstances: On February 20, 2011, at approximately 5:58 p.m., deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office responded to 2478 Oilla Road, Orange County, Texas in response to a 911 call for help.
*The Affiant has personally listened to a recording of this call and learned that the caller, identified as _ _, a 14 year old male, called and reported that an unknown person had been inside the residence and had shot his mother in the head. Deputies arrived on the scene and found the victim, identified as Staci Lisenby, laying on the kitchen floor bleeding from a wound to the back of her head. The victim was still alive at that time and was transported to a Beaumont hospital where she later died of her injuries.
*_ _stated that he and his mother were home alone in the residence. _ stated that he was laying on the couch in the living room and his mother was sitting at a small desk at the corner of the living room. _ reported that his father, Chris Lisenby, had left for church earlier and that his brother who had also been in the residence earlier had left to go back to Huntsville to school.
*_ _ stated that he suddenly heard a shot and turned and saw an unknown white male opening and fleeing out the front door of the residence. _ _ stated that he chased the subject out the door and to the left towards a wooded area but realized he could not catch the subject. _ _ stated that he returned to the residence and called 911.
* _ _ stated that he did not see the gun used to shoot his mother. The Affiant had earlier observed several gun safes and hunting paraphernalia in the residence and asked _ _ if the gunshot sounded like a rifle or a pistol. _ _ responded that he never fired a pistol or even heard a pistol being fired. The Affiant found this to be an unusual answer and asked _ to clarify his answer. _ _ replied that his father will not allow him to fire a pistol until he is twenty one years of age. Upon being asked, _ responded that he had never even held a pistol.
*_ _ completed giving his statement of what had happened that evening and was then transported back to his residence where a relative then transported him to the hospital to be with his mother. The Affiant also returned to the scene and learned from investigators there that several firearms were found locked in safes inside the residence but none appeared to have been fired recently. Investigators and officers with tracking dogs worked that night and late into the next day searching for evidence of an intruder and/or a possible discarded weapon.
*When _ had been returned to the scene prior to going to the hospital, he gave a demonstration of the unknown intruder's path of flight and of where he had last seen him. It is important to note that the area where _ said the intruder fled was soaked with water and mud and investigators could not find any evidence to indicate anyone had walked or run through that area.
*On February 22, 2011, investigators were contacted by the parents of some of _ _ juvenile friends reporting that they had information they believed might be pertinent to the case. Investigators learned from interviewing these juveniles that _ _ had been in possession of a western style .22 caliber revolver for some time prior to the shooting. The investigators also learned that _ _ had found this .22 caliber revolver in his attic and that he kept it hidden from his parents.
*The investigators learned that in the week prior to the shooting _ _ had made statements to a juvenile friend that he was tired of how strict his parents were and that he intended on killing them both and then running away. The investigators also interviewed another juvenile who reported that about one month ago she and _ went out to the pond behind the barn to shoot _ pellet gun.
*The juvenile stated that during that time _ asked her if she wanted to shoot the handgun. The juvenile female told investigators that she shot the revolver and that _ took her picture holding the revolver because she had made a "good shot." This juvenile has been using this picture as her profile picture on Facebook. Affiant has viewed and obtained a copy of this Facebook picture which shows the juvenile holding a western style revolver.
*The Affiant personally conducted an interview on February 22, 2011, of another juvenile and learned during this interview that when asked about the .22 caliber revolver, _ indicated, "I got rid of that pistol. It's gone forever."
*It is important to note that _ _ told investigators that his father left for church at about 5:53 p.m., and that _ _ called 911 at approximately 5:58 p.m. Deputies arrived at the residence at 6:09 p.m. This would not leave much time for anyone to discard or conceal the .22 caliber revolver. The Affiant believes due to the time parameters that _ _ had no time to leave the property to discard the weapon prior to calling 911 and the deputies arriving and that the weapon is still on the property.
*The Affiant has personal knowledge through training and experience that projectiles and casings can be subjected to expert examination and identified as having been fired from a specific firearm provided that the firearm is available to the examiner.
*The Affiant also knows through training and experience that DNA from the victim as well as the person who fired the weapon can sometimes be transferred onto the firearm used in the crime and can be compared to specimens from the victim and/or person who fired the firearm provided the weapon is available to the examiner.
*The Affiant also knows through training and experience that fingerprints can be lifted from a weapon and compared to possible suspect's provided that the firearm is available to be processed for fingerprints.
Wherefore, Affiant asks for issuance of a warrant that will authorize him to search suspected place and premises for said property and seize the same, and to submit the property to scientific and forensic analysis.