Sandra Oshunkentan
(1971-2004)
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1971
Born in Denton, Texas on March 16, 1971.
 
1991
She gave birth to her first-born Jonathon.
 
1998
Sandra gave birth to her second son, Ryan.
 
2004
Passed away on July 24, 2004 at the age of 33.
 
Newspaper articles --- Denton Record Chronicle
July 26, 2004----Denton Record Chronicle
Woman found dead in closet
Police charge 27-year-old Denton man with murder
By Mary Webb / Staff Writer
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Denton police have arrested a man and charged him with murder after the 33-year-old woman he lived with was discovered dead in their residence. Howard Lee Mack, 27, was taken into custody early Sunday morning after Denton police officers found Sandra Lee Oshunkentan’s body in the apartment the two shared on Teasley Lane. No bail had been set for Mack as of late Sunday evening.

According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Web site, Oshunkentan’s body was wrapped up in the bathroom closet. Jim Bryan, spokesman for the Denton Police Department, said
Oshunkentan had been stabbed, but he did not know how many times. It was not immediately known what Oshunkentan’s relation was to Mack.

According to Bryan, officers were dispatched to the apartment complex at 3939 Teasley Lane at about 1 a.m. Sunday after receiving a welfare concern call from an Oklahoma police department. Bryan did not know who made the call or whether Oshunkentan was from that state. He also did not know how long she might have been dead. Mack, who was at the apartment when police arrived, was immediately detained by police. He has a previous criminal record, which includes charges of theft of a firearm, criminal trespass and assault. The death is the fourth murder in Denton this year.

MARY WEBB can be reached at 940-566-6875. 


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July 27, 2004---Denton Record Chronicle

Client not a witness to death, police say
Woman found stabbed had been caring for mentally retarded man in her home 
By Mary Webb and Donna Fielder / Staff Writers 
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A woman found stabbed to death in the closet of her mobile home Sunday was caring for a mentally retarded client in a foster care arrangement, and he was asleep in the trailer when police found her body, an officer said Monday.

The man, whom Sandra Lee Oshunkentan was paid to care for, is not considered a witness to her murder, said Sgt. Scott Jenkins, who is supervising the case.  Oshunkentan, 33, was also an employee of Denton County Mental Health Mental Retardation, said Executive Director Bill Drybread. She had worked for the county department for several years, he said. 

"She was a good employee. There were no reported problems," Drybread said. "Everyone is just agonizing over this situation because everyone really liked this lady." 

Officers responding to a report of possible trouble at the mobile home at Lakeview Estates Mobile Home Park found Oshunkentan wrapped in garbage bags and blankets in a bathroom closet. She shared the mobile home with Howard Lee Mack, 27, her two children and the mentally retarded client of MHMR who lived there on a foster care basis. 

Mack was arrested Sunday in connection with the slaying and was charged Monday with murder. He was being held in the Denton County Jail Monday in lieu of $250,000 bail. The mobile home on Teasley Lane had been the scene of other domestic violence-related calls, Jenkins said. "We had been out there twice before.  Apparently, they had a tumultuous relationship," the sergeant said. 

The MHMR client was asleep in the trailer when police arrived but is not considered a witness, Jenkins said. He declined to explain or say where the client was when the stabbing took place. He said officers immediately made other arrangements with the agency for the man.  The victim’s two children, 5- and 13-year-old boys, were with their father, Solomon Oshunkentan, for the weekend when the stabbing took place. Elena Varunts, who said she is Oshunkentan’s wife, said they had tried as recently as two months ago to gain custody of the boys.  Howard was not a good man. This was not a good environment for the kids. We asked the judge to give them to us, but she gave them to the mother," Varunts said. "What if the kids had been there to witness this?" 

According to Jenkins, Denton police received a call from law enforcement officers in Oklahoma City at 1 a.m. Sunday, alerting them to possible foul play at the couple’s residence. Jenkins said Mack drove Oshunkentan’s vehicle to Oklahoma Saturday, told a friend about the stabbing and asked for advice. The witness notified Oklahoma City police when Mack left. 

Denton officers were at the scene early Sunday when Mack drove up in Oshunkentan’s Ford Expedition. He initially told them he had been shooting pool in Gainesville and that Oshunkentan was out with friends. But, Jenkins said, he gave permission for officers to enter the house. The officers found her body wrapped in a blanket and trash bags. She had been stabbed numerous times, Jenkins said. He said a kitchen knife the officers found is believed to be the murder weapon. He declined to say where the knife was found or where in the home the slaying occurred.
Jenkins said no arrests were made during the previous calls to the house. He said it appeared at the time that Mack had threatened suicide, and he had been referred to the MHMR department for counseling. Drybread said he could not talk about that, citing confidentiality laws. 

Foster caregivers are screened and are supervised. Someone checks every foster home almost every week, he said. That sort of living arrangement takes place in every county in Texas and is a standard way of caring for appropriate clients, he said. He was not sure Monday evening of the number of clients Denton County currently has in such living situations. Mack had two recent arrests for theft of a firearm and criminal trespass. Neither had been adjudicated. 

A caregiver is allowed a social life, Drybread said, and would not need to report a boyfriend’s criminal history unless he was living there long-term. In that instance, the caregiver is responsible for reporting that someone else is living in the home and a criminal history would be something the agency would want to know.
"We had no problems there that we were aware of," he said. "We had no issues there." 

Varunts brought the boys to the mobile home Monday to retrieve some of their belongings. She said she didn’t believe the home was a suitable place for the two boys, but declined to be more specific in their presence. The boys’ father was out of town on business Monday and could not be reached for comment.
A resident in the trailer park, who asked not to be identified, said the couple "seemed like nice people. He went to work every day and he was always dressed real nice. "But, you don’t know what happens when people close their doors." 

MARY WEBB can be reached at 940-566-6875.
DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. 


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July 29, 2004---Denton Record Chronicle
 
Sandra O. Shurbet 
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Sandra Oshunkentan Shurbet, 33, of Denton died Sunday, July 25, 2004, at her residence. She was born March 16, 1971, in Denton to Pat Merrifield. She graduated from Aubrey High School in 1989 and worked for Denton County MHMR for 15 years. She was a member of Denton Baptist Temple. 

A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday, July 30, at Slay Memorial Funeral Center in Aubrey. The Rev. Elmer Cummings will officiate. Burial will be in Belew Cemetery, Aubrey. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 29, at Slay Memorial Funeral Center. 

Survivors include her mother and stepfather, Pat and Harold Housden of Aubrey; two sons, Jonathan Oshunkentan and Ryan Oshunkentan of Denton; four brothers, Cody Housden and Dickson Housden, both of Aubrey, and Ronny Housden and Robin Housden, both of Denton; one sister, Pam Perry of Garland; and maternal grandmother, Mary Jo Merrifield of Aubrey.
Memorials may be made to Bank of America, 1851 I-35E, Denton, TX 76205. 

Teen Age Grief: T.A.G. is a non-profit organization that provides expertise in providing grief support to bereaved teens.
Web site: http://www.smartlink.net/~tag/ 

The Warm Place, Fort Worth: What About Remembering Me Inc. is a grief support center for children, ages 3 to 18, and their families, who have experienced the death of someone they love. Supported through community donations and grants, there is no fee for families to participate.
Web site: http://www.thewarmplace.org/ 



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August 8, 2004---Denton Record Chronicle
Sandy came to me in a dream. ... She said, "Mom, I’m gone."’

By Donna Fielder / Staff Writer
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Pat Housden sat alone in her daughter’s walk-in closet with the door closed for half an hour, listening for her laughter, imagining her smile.
It was the last place Sandra Oshunkentan had been, but she wasn’t there when her mother reached out in the dark.

Her boyfriend, Howard Mack, has been charged with her murder. The 33-year-old Denton woman’s body, pierced numerous times with a kitchen knife and wrapped in garbage bags, had lain in the closet nearly a day before Denton police found it and took it away July 25. Her mother sat there after she learned of her daughter’s death and shuddered at the fear and pain she must have felt. But she’s fine now, Housden said. Oshunkentan had a strong Christian faith, her mother says, and her soul now is in Heaven. "And Heaven will never be the same with her there," Housden said, laughing through her tears.

Oshunkentan’s boyfriend, Howard Mack, 27, remains in Denton County Jail on a murder charge. He has not admitted stabbing her, police said. He declined an interview for this story. Oshunkentan’s friends say Denton won’t be the same without her. She worked and socialized in a close circle of men and women, many of whom were employed by the Denton County Mental Health Mental Retardation agency. At work, they admired her caring attitude for the mentally retarded people whose cases she supervised. After work, they loved her wicked wit, her spunk and her cooking, they said. "She had a spirit about her," said friend and co-worker Blake Hensley. "She was energetic and caring." Her next-door neighbor called her a doer." "She was always doing something for someone," Mike Freeman said. "If it was the weekend for her boys to be there, we were all there with them playing video games, watching movies and eating. She loved to cook." She had two sons from a former marriage. The boys were visiting with their father the weekend she was killed and now live with him. "She was fiercely loyal to her family and friends," said Rebeca Vanderburg. "But the thing I admired most about her was her devotion to her sons. They were her life."

Many of the professionals Oshunkentan worked with had university degrees. She started working with mentally retarded people as soon as she finished high school. She loved the work and soon was promoted to a supervisory position. "Sandra was very, very sharp," said her neighbor and former supervisor, George Kuehn. "She worked her way up. She learned quickly and was senior case manager. All her clients and their families loved her. She always remembered everyone’s special days with streamers and balloons and cake." Another co-worker, Chris Nowak, said she was one of the most helpful people he’d ever known. "And it was evident that she was a good mother," he said. Police are still investigating her murder.

Detective Mike Stockard said Mack claims to have been in Gainesville playing pool when someone murdered his girlfriend. "We’ve proved that he was lying about that," Stockard said. Stockard said he hopes to bring evidence to the district attorney for presentation to a grand jury within two weeks. Oklahoma police notified Denton officers at about 1 a.m. Sunday that a man called to report his friend from Texas came to him for advice. The Oklahoma man said he believed Mack’s girlfriend might be injured or dead. Denton officers knocked on the door of the mobile home at Lakewood Estates on Teasley Lane. They found there the mentally retarded man Oshunkentan provided foster care for. They made other living arrangements for him immediately. He is not a witness, they said.

They found her body in the bathroom walk-in closet. Mack drove up in her vehicle, claiming he had been playing pool and that she was out with friends. None of her friends liked Mack, they all said. But they tried to tolerate him for her sake. "I had bad vibes," Freeman said. "But I wouldn’t hurt her feelings for anything." Mack had a run-in with sheriff’s deputies, Sanger police and the Texas Rangers weeks earlier near Sanger. He has been charged with stealing a gun that he used to threaten suicide. He held the law enforcement officers at bay for about three hours that day. Oshunkentan had decided to break up with him, her friends said. They believe her decision led to her death. "She was trying her best to help him but she realized he was never going to change," said her friend Debbie Zion. "She grew to see another side of him. She was trying to break up with him. I think that’s what triggered him to lose it. To murder her."

The weekend of her death on July 25, Kuehn and Freeman were out of town. Oshunkentan, who lived next door, had agreed to keep an eye on a mentally retarded man for whom they provide foster care. He was able to stay alone at Kuehn’s house while Kuehn was away, as long as someone checked on him. At 5:30 p.m., another neighbor called Kuehn to tell him that Mack had been seen going into his house. That was not OK, Kuehn said. He said he called Oshunkentan’s house and Mack answered. Mack said she was not feeling well, and that he had checked on the retarded man. Kuehn was uneasy. He asked another friend, Jackie Goodman, to go over to check on his ward. Goodman said she had been trying to reach Oshunkentan all day, and that Mack answered the telephone each time she called and said her friend was sleeping. She checked on Kuehn’s ward and then knocked on Oshunkentan’s door. "Howard opened the door and I asked for Sandra. He said, ‘She’s in bed,’" Goodman said. "I said, ‘Can I talk to her?’ And he said, ‘She’s sick.’ I felt uneasy. Something was wrong." Goodman said Mack pretended to try to wake up Oshunkentan, but said she was sound asleep. He said he was on his way to buy groceries. Goodman left, but returned in a few minutes hoping to see her friend after he left. He didn’t leave. She drove to another friend’s house in the mobile home park and they tried to decide what to do, she said. They called again. Kuehn also called several times. No one was allowed to talk to her.

Oshunkentan’s mother tried to reach her throughout that day too. The telephone went unanswered to her calls. Mack knew she didn’t like him, Housden said. He wouldn’t answer the telephone knowing it was her.
"I didn’t like him then and I certainly don’t like him now," she said. "I kept leaving messages on the answering machine. I told her if I didn’t hear from her by9 p.m., I was coming up there. That’s when he left the house and went to Oklahoma — when he thought I was coming. "That whole time, my daughter was in the closet. I bought her the set of knives he killed her with for Christmas at J.C. Penney." The worried mother talked herself out of driving from her Aubrey home that night. She’d go after church the next day, she said. "In the middle of the night, Sandy came to me in a dream. And her face was all bruised. She said, ‘Mom, I’m gone.’ I went to early church and talked to a friend about the dream. I broke down and cried," Housden said. "After church, we drove to the mobile home park. There were a bunch of unmarked cars and a crime scene van. It was pouring down rain. It was so crowded with cars there was no place to park. I made Harold [her husband and Oshunkentan’s stepfather] let me out." A detective told Housden her daughter had been murdered. "And that’s when part of me died," she said. She insisted on seeing her daughter’s body before it was prepared for burial. "I had to see what he did to her. It was not my baby. But it was my baby that came to me in the dream," she said. Housden said both her daughter and son inherited her willingness to believe the best in people, her color blindness when it came to people, her naivete. She believes her daughter lost her life because of those qualities, she said. "It happened because of the choices Sandy made about Howard. She did not know he was bad. She thought she could save him," Housden said. "He was jealous of her family and her friends. "As a Christian, I have to forgive him," the mother said. "I haven’t yet. But I will."

Donna Fielder can be reached at (940) 566-6885. Her email address is dfielder@dentonrc.com

Copyright (c) 2004, Denton Record Chronicle 


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September 7, 2005-----Denton Record-Chronicle (TX)
Murder trial begins in stabbing case Man accused in slaying had volatile relationship with victim, attorneys say
Donna Fielder Staff Writer 
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Sandra Oshunkentan feared she wouldn't get out of her relationship with Howard Mack alive, she told friends in the summer of 2004. And she was right.

Both attorneys told the jury Tuesday in the first day of Mack's
trial for murder that the couple's relationship was volatile. But
the defense and the prosecution each began their quest to convince jurors of their differing theories of what happened that day that left Oshunkentan dead on her closet floor, wrapped in garbage bags, with 17 stab wounds in her body.

The trial is expected to continue most of the week.

Prosecutor John Haw kins said in opening statements that he would present 20 witnesses to prove that Mack stabbed his girlfriend, who was trying to break up with him. Mack lied to her worried friends who called and came by, telling them she was sick in bed, Hawkins said. He lied to police who came after learning she might be injured or dead, telling them she was out with her friends, the prosecutor said. Evidence would show that Mack's fingerprints were on the plastic bag wrapped around her feet, he said.

"As he stabbed her, she was telling him that she loved him," Hawkins said.

Defense attorney Neil Durrance told the jury the pair had a stormy relationship, but that they always made up. She had moved him out of her trailer at Lakewood Estates Mobile Home Park several times but had always allowed him to come back, he said. Mack, 28, had recently lost his job.

Durrance said the state would not be able to make a valid case that Mack murdered Oshunkentan. "The state cannot prove at least two points beyond reasonable
doubt," he said.

Oshunkentan, 33, was a case manager at the Denton County Mental Health/Mental Retardation agency. She loved working with mentally retarded people and even served as a foster parent for one man, who was in the trailer when she was killed.
She was the divorced mother of two little boys, who were with their father that weekend. She was supposed to be watching over another mentally retarded man, whom her friend, co-worker and neighbor let stay in his nearby home. When neighbors noticed it was Mack, not Oshunkentan, who was caring for the man, they were frightened for her, they testified.

Denton police Sgt. Daryn Briggs was the first witness. He responded to the mobile home community in the 3900 block of Teasley Lane at 1:20 a.m. July 25, 2004, after learning that a friend of Mack's in Oklahoma City called police there to report he feared Mack had injured or killed his girlfriend in Denton. Briggs said the mentally retarded man was alone in Oshunkentan's
trailer and was frightened. He made arrangements for another place for the man to stay, he testified. Mack drove up in Oshunkentan's SUV, claiming he had been playing pool in Gainesville. He said she was out with friends, the sergeant said. Mack allowed the officers in the house, and Briggs soon found the woman's body in the closet under a pile of bedding.

"When I asked him if I could look in the closet, he was lighting a
cigarette, and his hand started shaking," Briggs said. Mack was taken into custody that night on a charge of murder.

Co-workers Courtney Durham and Jackie Goodman each testified to visiting the trailer that Saturday afternoon looking for their
friend. Each was uneasy and scared, they testified, and they didn't believe Mack when he said she was sick in the other room. Though he pretended to talk to her through the bedroom door, Goodman said, she heard nothing from her friend.

"I drove around the park trying to figure out what to do," she said. Finally, she drove to another friend's nearby trailer and called again, hoping Oshunkentan would pick up the telephone. Instead, Mack answered "He said, 'She's still sick,'" Goodman said.

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is dfielder@dentonrc.com.

Copyright (c), 2005, Denton Record-Chronicle


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September 8, 2005----Denton Record Chronicle
Forensics experts testify on findings in Mack murder trial
Donna Fielder Staff Writer 
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Forensic witnesses told the story of Sandra Oshunkentan's violent death Wednesday in quiet, unemotional voices while a courtroom nearly full of her family and friends listened in horror. Howard Mack, who had been the 33-year-old woman's boyfriend for several months in late July 2004, is accused of stabbing and cutting her 17 times, wrapping her body in garbage bags and hiding it under stacks of bedding in the closet of her trailer at Lakewood Estates mobile home community in south Denton.

Denton police found her body in the closet after one of Mack's
friends reported that Mack said he harmed her, and sought his
advice.

The case is unfolding this week in 158th District Court in Denton
County and is expected to finish Friday.

Denton police Detective Bryan Lee testified to collecting several
items from the trailer, including two knives, cleaning supplies
found in the closet and a pair of blood-stained pajama bottoms. A lock-blade knife found in Oshunkentan's SUV had traces of blood on it, he testified. Mack drove up to the trailer in the SUV soon after police arrived.  The other knives were found in the dishwasher, Lee testified. One had a bent blade. Both had been washed and had no obvious stains.

Russell Lewis, who at that time was a forensic detective for the
Denton agency, testified to matching a palm print on a garbage bag wrapped around the victim's feet to Mack's palm print and to matching a print found on a cleaning bottle in the closet to Mack.
Troy Taylor, a Denton County death investigator for the Tarrant
County Medical Examiner's Office, told the jury there is no test to place an exact time of death. Judging by such indicators as rigor
mortis the body's progressive stiffness after death, and lividity
the pooling of blood in the lowest parts of the body, he estimated she had been dead between 18 and 24 hours when he examined her body still in the closet July 25.

Dr. Gary Sissler, who performed the autopsy, testified to each of
the 17 cut and stab wounds on her body and the damage each one caused.  Defense attorney Neil Durrance questioned him about bruising on her hands that might have been caused by offensive strikes instead of defense wounds. He also seemed to be trying through his questioning to indicate the victim was highly intoxicated at the time of her death. Sissler said her blood alcohol level was 0.02 percent, which is indicative of one beer. But the blood test came at autopsy, likely two days after her death, Durrance said. He tried to elicit from Sissler that the alcohol level would have been much higher, since alcohol levels dissipate with time.

"There is no way for me to make that correlation," Sissler said.

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is
dfielder@dentonrc.com.

Copyright (c), 2005, Denton Record-Chronicle


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September 9, 2005 ---Denton Record Chronicle Article 
Mack Found Guilty
Man found guilty of killing his girlfriend

Donna Fielder Staff Writer 
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Howard Mack's attorney told a jury Friday that he actually was defending himself from Sandra Oshunkentan when he stabbed her 17 times and hid her body in a closet. The jury took 35 minutes to find him guilty of murder.

The punishment phase was set to begin today in 158th District Court for the July 24, 2004, murder of Oshunkentan in her home at Lakewood Estates mobile home community. The courtroom has been filled all week with friends, co-workers and family of the popular 33-year-old caseworker at the Den ton County Mental Health-Mental Retardation agency. They showed relief as the verdict was read. Several members of Mack's family showed no emotion as they heard the verdict.

During final arguments, defense attorney Neil Durrance drew a diagram of the cuts and punctures on the 33-old-mother's body, explaining his theory that she attacked Mack with a knife and he was backing away, trying to escape, as he thrust another knife at her.

'"Get away,' he was saying, 'get away,'" Durrance said, demonstrating the way he said his client backed away from Oshunkentan, whom he said at one point had a knife.

Mack was protecting himself, Durrance said.

"The angle of the wounds supports that."

"Get away!" retorted prosecutor John Hawkins when he began his final arguments. "That's what he wants to do. Get away with this."

Prosecutors presented a detailed case over four days, calling witnesses who told the jury they didn't like Mack, but put up with the boyfriend who didn't work and appeared to live off her largess for Oshunkentan's sake. Several tried to contact her that Saturday and were told by Mack that she was sick in bed. They continued to try to see her and call her, but Mack insisted she was too sick.

Forensic witnesses testified a specific time of death could not be determined but it had come sometime within the previous 24 hours. She suffered 17 wounds of differing severity.

The most damning witness was Mack's longtime friend, Tracy Love, who told of receiving a call from Mack that night. Mack then drove to Norman, Okla., to see Love and told him he stabbed Oshunkentan, rolled her in a comforter and put her body in a closet, Love said. He appeared to be in anguish over having to testify against his friend, but he contacted police that night to report what he knew. Denton police found her body in the closet and arrested Mack when he drove up minutes later.

The victim's mother, Pat Housden, and her brother, Cody Housden, testified to talking to Mack after he was jailed on the murder charge. Each asked him repeatedly why he killed Oshunkentan, they said. He rambled in telephone conversations from the Denton County Jail, speaking at one point about an argument, Oshunkentan running to the kitchen to get a knife and then her dropping the knife.

Pat Housden said her daughter had a big heart, always trying to take care of everyone.

"She worked; he didn't," Pat Housden said. "She was the provider. They drove her SUV."

Pat Housden said she went to the jail to talk to Mack, but she got no answer to the question she most needed an answer for.

"The pain was so great. I just needed to know what happened to her. But he wouldn't look at me. I got no real answer."

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is dfielder@dentonrc.com.

Copyright (c), 2005, Denton Record-Chronicle 



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September 10, 2005 ----Denton Record Chronicle Article 
Mack Gets Life Sentence
Mack gets life Jury takes hour to reach decision

Donna Fielder Staff Writer 
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Howard Mack stood facing a courtroom full of people after a jury sentenced him to life in prison Friday afternoon looking steadily at the mother of the woman he stabbed 17 times. "I have no hate for you in my heart," Pat Housden said to him in a victim's impact statement after the verdict was read. "Today, what I have to do is tell you about Jesus."

Housden told Mack he was a moocher, a leech who lived off her daughter, a loser. But Jesus would forgive him, the mother said in a shaking voice.

"There's not a lot of love for you in this courtroom. But Jesus will love you if you accept him as your personal savior," she said.

After a trial that lasted all week, the jury took an hour to decide punishment. Since a life sentence is based on 60 years, Mack will have to serve at least 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.

Mack was convicted Thursday of the July 24, 2004, stabbing death of Sandra Oshunkentan, 33, with whom he lived for eight months at Lakewood Estates mobile home community off Teasley Lane.

He drove to his best friend's house that night in Norman, Okla., and told him he had stabbed Oshunkentan, according to the friend's testimony. Tracy Love called police and told them what his friend had said. Denton police drove to the house and found Oshunkentan's body wrapped in garbage bags and covered in bedding in the bathroom closet.

Prosecutor John Hawkins asked jurors for the maximum sentence. Mack was a man who controlled women by manipulation or by force, he said.

"Life, and not a day less," Hawkins said.

Defense attorney Neil Durrance said there was no way to go back and change the past, so jurors should focus on the future and how best to serve justice. Vengeance does not belong to us, he said, but to God, he said.

Prosecutor Lori Moraine flashed big-screen pictures of Oshunkentan with her children, with her friends, on vacation, laughing at a Christmas celebration. The spectators, many of whom wore big buttons with her picture, wiped their eyes and stifled sobs.

"She looked in the eyes of the last person she would ever see her murderer and she told him she loved him," Moraine said.

Stacy Ervin testified in the punishment phase, telling the jury she was Mack's girlfriend for about two years. At different times he punched her in the head, broke her nose, beat her unconscious and kicked her in the stomach, causing a miscarriage, she said.

Mack left her for Oshunkentan, she testified. But she had no ill will against her.

"I felt that their relationship saved me from what I couldn't get away from," Ervin said, crying. "I call her my guardian angel."

DONNA FIELDER can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is dfielder@dentonrc.com.


 
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