Casey Owens pleads guilty to murder in 2017 shooting, sentencing to be held later

Casey Owens
Casey Owens

A 42-year-old man is accepting a 40-year prison sentence after admitting Thursday to the shooting death four years ago of a man he believed was dating his ex-girlfriend.

Casey Owens pleaded guilty to a count of murder in the Dec. 22, 2017 slaying of 38-year-old Landon Terry at Owens' ex-girlfriend's residence in South Lubbock. He entered his plea via video conference from the Lubbock County Detention Center.

William Eichman, the 364th District Court judge, accepted Owens' plea. However, the judge held off on sentencing him until Owens can appear in person in his courtroom to hear victim impact statements from Terry's family. A sentencing hearing has been tentatively set for Feb. 4.

Owens was set to stand trial on Monday. However, a COVID-19 diagnosis before the trial delayed the trial until he tests negative for the disease.

Potential jurors were on standby until Owens was cleared as he was being tested daily.

Owens was still COVID-19 positive on Thursday when he accepted the plea deal with the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office. Court officials said a sentencing hearing will be set as soon as he tests negative for the disease.

Owens' has been held at the Lubbock County Detention Center for most of the duration of the case.

His charge stems from a Lubbock police investigation into a shots fired call from his ex-girlfriend's home in the 6000 block of 88th Street.

Responding officers found Terry near the home's front entrance suffering from gunshot wounds in his chest and left thigh. Officers treated Terry's wounds until EMS arrived and took him to University Medical Center where he died.

Meanwhile, investigators spoke with Andrea Turner who told them she believed Owens, her ex-boyfriend, shot Terry in an ambush.

She told investigators she broke up with him because of his addiction to crystal methamphetamine and drove him to a substance abuse facility in Scurry about a month before the shooting.

Meanwhile, she said Terry was a Facebook friend she hadn't met in person until two weeks before the shooting when Owens began threatening Terry accusing him of dating her.

She said she believed Owens also had been following her and threatened her over the phone.

The night before the shooting, Turner said she went to dinner with Terry at his home. She said Terry told her he'd come by her home with coffee that morning.

However, that morning she was in the living room of her home and heard a noise from a bedroom in front of the residence and found Owens. She said she tried calling for help but Owens reportedly took her phone and leveled a gun to her face, saying he knew Terry was coming over.

She said Owens struck her in the head and forced her into a bedroom. She said she believed when Terry arrived, Owens must have answered the door and shot him.

Owens ran away before police arrived. However, he surrendered to police the next day and was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center on a count of murder. His bond was set at $500,000.

Owens was held at the jail until May 2020 when his family was able to obtain a cash bond. Three months later, he returned to the jail for violating a condition of his pre-trial release that forbade him from drinking alcohol. The violation was discovered when EMS responded to his family's home in Shallowater after he crashed an ATV and a blood test showed he had alcohol in his system.

This article originally appeared on Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: Casey Owens pleads guilty to murder