TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - After almost five hours of deliberation, a Rockwall County jury sentenced Justin Sanders to 30 years in prison for the death of a Texarkana, TX police officer.
That officer, William Sprague, was killed in 2013 during an altercation when prosecutors say Sanders hit Sprague with his car. Sprague's widow recalled the incident Thursday afternoon.
"His patrol car was right over there and this is the area where the accident actually occurred, where the hit actually occurred," Stephanie Sprague said, standing at the site where her husband was killed. "I try to make this place not necessarily a negative image in my mind."
Stephanie said she was there when a jury convicted Sanders for her husband's death and handed down the sentence.
"We were happy with the verdict," she said." I feel like it was a difficult situation to put the jury in and any years is better than none."
The toughest part of the 7-day trial was watching and listening to dash cam video after William was hit.
"I didn't want to hear it but it did put to rest some of the nightmares that mind had created about that night," she said.
Sgt. Aaron Browers of the Texarkana, TX Police Department said his men are comforted that the case has concluded.
"Words alone cannot accurately describe our great appreciation for the outpouring of love, comfort and support that this community extended to the Spragues and our law enforcement family," he said.
Now that the trial is over, Stephanie said she is starting another mission, one symbolized by pink, blue and black badges. Her newest effort, a support group on Facebook for families of officers, is called "The Pink Behind the Thin Blue Line."
"When I began this group it was more an idea to support officers' families and just somehow give back and it has just caught on," she said.