WALLER COUNTY, Texas – The Molden family spent Wednesday afternoon sitting in a Waller County courtroom waiting to learn the sentence for their son’s killer.
Christopher Ellison had previously pleaded guilty to a manslaughter charge after stabbing Brayon Molden in October 2014.
“We were thinking maybe he was going to get somewhere between 15 to 20 years,” said Henry Molden, Brayon’s father.
The Moldens were in shock when they heard Waller County Judge Albert McCaig sentence Ellison to 10 years of probation.
Because of circumstances with the case, prosecutors decided to pursue a manslaughter charge instead of murder, but they requested that Ellison get the maximum sentence, which was 20 years.
“I’m definitely feeling like justice wasn’t served,” Molden said. “It didn’t work for us.”
“It was a shock,” said Warren Diepraam with the Waller County District Attorney’s Office. “Everyone in the courtroom was amazed when that happened. I honestly don’t even think the defense attorney expected that.”
The sentence wasn’t the only surprise. Diepraam said Molden was stabbed with a large knife, several inches long, but Judge McCaig said he didn’t consider it a deadly weapon.
“He ruled that the knife that killed Brayon was not a deadly weapon,” Diepraam said. “He did that in order to give him probation. If there’s a finding of a deadly weapon in a homicide case a judge can’t give probation. That was really a shock.”
The Moldens were still in shock Wednesday night when they spoke to KPRC from their Spring-area home. Their son was 23 years old when he was killed. He was a student at Prairie View A&M. They said he had a bright future ahead of him as a coach and teacher.
“He was working two jobs at the time,” his father said. “He was a good kid.”
KPRC reached out to Judge McCaig’s office for comment but the call was not returned.
Christopher Ellison, who spent the last two years in jail awaiting sentencing, is now a free man.
“You expect justice as one of the first steps of getting closure,” Henry Molden said. “But when that doesn’t happen, you feel re-victimized.”