After two days of testimony in Judge Steven Thomas’ 356th District Court, the second suspect in the Hardin County murder of Lamar freshman Brian Drake was convicted Tuesday, Feb. 4, and sentenced to life in prison.
Joshua Glaze was the driver of the white Dodge Durango that chased Brian Drake’s Chevy pickup the night of Nov. 14, 2012, after Drake and two other friends dropped another friend off on Glaze Road.
Curtis Glaze, who was convicted of shooting Drake in the back of the head with a bolt-action hunting rifle, was convicted in December and sentenced to life in prison for his part in the murder.
Court testimony in Joshua Glaze’s trial began in earnest on Monday, Feb. 3, with lead investigator Gary Spears and included testimony from Briana Herring and Allen Theal, both friends of Drake in the line of fire as Drake attempted to flee from the Glaze’s vehicle.
Theal relayed a horrifying story of flying bullets and broken glass during testimony in Curtis Glaze’s trial, saying he struggled to regain control of Drake’s truck after it was clear his close friend was shot.
“The back window shattered and Brian jerked the wheel and we were going off the road,” Theal said.
Briana Herring was second to take the stand, telling jurors she and Theal grabbed Drake’s phone and ran into some nearby woods after Theal was able to bring the Silverado to a stop, narrowly missing a light pole. As they hid in the woods, quietly terrified, Herring said she was on the phone with police when the Glaze cousins returned to inspect Drake’s truck.
“They told us they could see us and they were going to get us,” Herring testified.
David Sheffield, the lead Hardin County prosecutor on the case, said his case hinged on the testimony of Mallory Wood, Joshua Glaze’s wife, whose 3-year-old daughter was also in the Durango as it chased Drake’s vehicle at high speeds.
Wood’s testimony definitively placed Curtis as the shooter and Joshua as the driver of the Durango.
“We were hoping it would seal in the mind of the jury exactly what took place,” Sheffield said in an interview. “After her testimony, there was no question who did what.”
Sheffield said Joshua’s conviction is just one of at least two felony convictions for Joshua, suggesting a long history of trouble with the law.
“I do know from the records we could get and the information revealed to us that Josh had run-ins with the law since he was 12 years old,” Sheffield said. “In fact, his own statement, he said ‘I’ve been dealing with you guys,’ meaning the police, since he was 12. So, there’s no doubt he had a troubled past, but as far as the details of that, I don’t know. We just know what the record shows, and that’s prior felony convictions.”
Sheffield said neither Glaze cousin is more culpable than the other as it was clearly a tag-team effort to kill 18-year-old Brian Drake. Curtis Glaze could not have fired the shots that killed Drake if Joshua hadn’t given chase after the cousins attempted to block Drake’s Silverado in the middle of State Highway 326, he said.
“Josh, being the driver, made decisions to initiate a pursuit. He elevated that pursuit with aggressive means toward our victims. When the victims failed to stop at the road block, then he took out after them in a high-speed chase down a state highway,” Sheffield said. “I mean, Curtis hung out the window and began shooting multiple shots. Of course, I think they were both in it together. For whatever reason, they were intent on stopping that vehicle and using deadly force to do it. One could not have done it without the other.”
What’s more, Sheffield said the Glaze cousins were intent on killing the surviving witnesses left in Drake’s truck after he was shot and lost control. He said had the Glaze cousins found Theal and Herring, there might have been two more fatalities.
“They were in a real pickle. They knew that anybody that could say there was a white Dodge Durango involved in this, it was going to come back to them, so they couldn’t leave those survivors out there,” Sheffield said. “Also, when you take your wife and you take your child and drop them off and then you come back, to me that shows that’s something you didn’t want to do in front of your wife and kid. The wife and the kid were in the white Dodge Durango when the chase was going on. He dropped them off, came back, got out at the sight where the victim’s car went off the road and they started hollering, yelling, trying to get these people to come out. There was no good intentions there. They weren’t there to help.”
With the guilty verdict and life sentence for both Curtis and Joshua Glaze, Sheffield said both men will serve at least 30 years before they are eligible for parole, adding justice has been done with the help of two dedicated juries of Hardin County residents who refused to allow such blatant disregard for human life.
“The people of this county are not going to tolerate it,” Sheffield said. “People are living here in part because of our low crime rates and don’t want this kind of behavior to become the norm.”