A 35th District Court jury convicted Lynn Isbell of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Wednesday, then spent a a day and a half hearing about his violent past, his association with the Ayran Brotherhood of Texas and his previous convictions.
    Late Thursday afternoon, jurors sentenced Isbell to life in prison.
    Isbell — whose taut, agitated behavior while seated next to his lawyer had prompted courthouse deputies to sit or stand close by — shook his head but said nothing as Brown County Court-at-Law Judge Sam Moss read the jury’s sentence.
    Earlier Thursday, Moss directed an argumentative Isbell to stop pointing at him as Isbell testified and answered questions from his lawyer, Tommy Adams of Brownwood. Moss also found Isbell in contempt of court after Isbell refused to answer prosecutor Elisha Bird’s questions on cross-examination.
    Isbell, 36, stood trial for pulling a gun on an Abilene repo man who arrived at his property in northern Brown County in November 2015 to repossess a car.
    After the guilty conviction, deputies arrived at the courthouse Wednesday afternoon pushing a shopping cart filled with more than a dozen firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, body armor and components of a meth lab. Deputies seized those items when they executed a search warrant at the property where Isbell lived with his wife and children in December 2015.
     Deputies arrested Isbell at that time on multiple charges including aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a controlled substance.  Isbell bonded out of jail, and was arrested once again in October 2016 on multiple charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of a habitation with intent to commit another felony and criminal trespass. Isbell remained in the Brown County Jail since that arrest with bonds totaling $476,000.
    Bird presented evidence of three previous convictions, all from 2004: aggravated assault in Coleman County for embedding a hatchet in a man’s side, a federal drug conviction and escape, also in Coleman County.
    A man who is currently serving a prison sentence, who was bench warranted to Brown County for the trial, testified of his association with Isbell in numerous criminal activities.  The inmate told of driving with Isbell and another man to a home in Coleman County, where Isbell shot at a house in an attempt to kill a man for being a snitch.
    The inmate said his testimony against Isbell puts his life in danger and said he knows Isbell will be coming for him one day. When Adams asked the inmate why he was testifying if it endangered him, the inmate said he “found God” and wanted to tell the truth.
    From law enforcement officials and Isbell’s former associates, jurors heard nonstop descriptions of Isbell’s violence, which also included slicing another man’s face. Isbell didn’t hesitate to be violent and showed no remorse, jurors were told.
     “I’m not here to apologize for his history,” Adams told jurors in his closing argument. “It’s bad. There’s no going back on that.” Adams said Isbell had served his time on his previous convictions and would serve time in pending cases, and asked jurors to assess a 10-year sentence.
    It’s unfair, Adams argued, that the past and pending cases were compounding his current case.
    When Bird stood before jurors in her closing arguments, she briefly held an AR-15 rifle — one of the firearms deputies seized in 2015 — above her head as she asked jurors to consider what Isbell has accomplished in his 36 years.
    Recounting Isbell’s past, Bird referred to his “black heart” and lack of a conscious. “Look at what he’s capable of … how many more houses can he go shoot up?” Bird said before asking jurors to sentence Isbell to life in prison.