The suspect in the 2019 shooting death of an Edmond man will spend life in prison with the possibility of parole and then 10 years of probation.
Oklahoma County prosecutors struck a last-minute plea deal with George Watson, 39, the same day he was expected to go to trial for first-degree murder.
The hearing on Monday was an emotional ending to nearly two years of struggle for 24-year-old Sawyer English’s family.
His father, Mitch English, was not surprised by the plea deal but said he was shocked by what Watson said in court.
Instead of sitting through a jury trial, English read the court an emotional victim impact statement. His son was shot in the back three times through a window of his Edmond home. English told the court his son's life was taken by a coward.
Watson admitted guilt to the 2019 murder and waived his rights to appeal the decision.
“It was the right move,” English said. “We did not look forward to a trial. We didn’t look for this to actually happen at all.”
The English family was happy with the plea deal and said it was very close to the punishment Watson would have gotten if a jury found him guilty.
“He will be an old man when he comes out,” said English. “I hope he gets the help he needs inside those walls.”
Before Watson was led out of the courtroom, he turned to English and offered a tearful apology. Watson said he was a coward, asked English for forgiveness and admitted that he hated himself for taking another man's life.
“I was not expecting that at all,” said English. “I stood back and the only thing I could say back to him was, 'you need to love yourself.' I hated hearing that he hated himself.”
Although English will never know what his son could have done in life, he knows his death had a purpose.
“This happened to me and my family because we are to learn something,” said English. “I’m supposed to learn something, so that’s what I’ll take from it.”
Watson will serve about 30 years in prison before he will be considered for parole.
Watson's girlfriend Lindsi Mayabb was also involved. She accepted a plea deal in 2019 and testified against Watson for a lesser charge.