HITCHCOCK — A jury Thursday sentenced a former Houston police officer to seven years in prison for killing a Clear Lake oral surgeon.
Dennis Roy Redding, 66, was convicted of manslaughter in the June 2012 death of Dr. Mark K. Holcomb, 61, who was shot at his home in Harborwalk, a gated community in Hitchcock.
Redding was charged with murder, but jurors found him guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Attorneys said Redding will appeal, and he was booked into the Galveston County Jail on Thursday on $150,000 bond. Redding could remain free on bond until his appeal is heard.
Prosecutors contended that Redding was in a drunken rage when he shot Holcomb with a pistol.
Redding’s attorneys said the shooting was a tragic accident, and described the former Houston police officer and NASA security officer as a community-minded family man who has not had a drink in almost two years.
The two men were close friends, and family members of both Redding and Holcomb filled Judge Brett Griffin’s 212th District Court for the trial.
Redding was visiting his friend’s home, and several other people were in the house at the time of the shooting. The men planned to go fishing together the next day.
It remains unclear what the men were arguing about, Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ott said.
During the trial, Holcomb’s son-in-law, who was asleep in the guest room where Holcomb was shot, testified that the surgeon said the shooting was an accident shortly after he was shot.
Video played during the trial showed an apparently intoxicated Redding being driven by Hitchcock police away from the Harborwalk home.
After Redding was sentenced and handcuffed, Holcomb’s wife and two of his four daughters addressed him.
Francine Holcomb read excerpts from a journal she said she has kept since her husband’s death, and said she had been waiting for months to hear Redding apologize.
She said Redding had taken away her future with her husband.
“It’s like a part of myself is missing,” she said.
One of Holcomb’s daughters said Redding’s pending appeal was “another act of violence to our family.”