Todd sentenced to life in prison

Published 12:04 am Friday, November 11, 2011

Convicted murderer Harold Elton Todd was sentenced to life in prison Thursday for the 2008 shooting death of Veronica Elizabeth Martinez.

Circuit Judge A. “Lex” Short asked Todd if he had any comments before the sentence was handed down. With his attorney Donna Crooks by his side, Todd’s only reply was a brief, “No.”

Martinez’ daughter, along with her husband and two children, were in the audience when the sentence was given. When asked if she was pleased with the judge’s decision, she gave a brief smile and a strong “Yes.”

Todd was found guilty in October. He had pleaded “not guilty by reason of mental illness or defect;” however, it took the eight-woman, four-man jury only 30 minutes to decide he intended to kill Martinez that March at the couple’s T.T. Clark Road home in Opp.

As part of his defense, Todd described seeing UFOs, possessing a “cigarette smoking, whiskey drinking levitating cat” and having the ability to “teleport.”

Throughout the trial, Crooks never denied Todd was the shooter; instead, she classified him as an alcoholic who had no memory of the actual shooting.

Todd’s life sentence is the maximum sentence under law for the murder conviction.

Assistant District Attorney Grace Jeter, who prosecuted the case, said Todd “is right where he should be.”

“Harold Elton Todd belongs in prison for the rest of his life,” she said. “Nothing can erase the pain he inflicted on the victim’s children and grandchildren, but today’s sentencing has at least brought them some closure.”

Jeter expressed the office’s thanks to Short and fellow prosecutor Emmett Massey for their involvement in the case.