A jury of six women and three men sentenced Julia Andrews, 59, of Vidor to 44 years in prison for the murder of  42-year-old Randy Peddy, of Vidor. She could have received up to 99 years in prison for the first degree felony charge.   

She will have to serve 22 years before she is first eligible for parole. Andrews stared straight ahead as the sentence was read but wiped tears from her eyes. A juror later said Andrews’ self-defense claim was not even part of the equation when making their decision. When deciding the punishment they started at 50 years and deducted the number as they considered factors such as her health and age.

This is not the first time Andrews faced felony charges. She was already on felony probation from a charge in Hardin County. Andrews stated she had given someone money to purchase a prohibited substance which was going to be given to an inmate in jail that resulted in the charges.

On Wednesday, following a guilty verdict  Andrews took the stand.

“I am so sorry,” she said tearfully. “I shot my best friend. I lost him too so I know what they are going through.”

Jack Peddy, only shook his head side to side while looking at the ground as if unable to look at the woman who killed his son.

Andrews stated she was hoping for manslaughter  charges and to get probation.

“I shot Randy and killed him, but I didn’t murder him,” she said on the stand.

Assistant District Attorney Cory Kneeland asked Andrews about some of her statements in jail during her visits  with  family and friends on a recorded line.

One of which she stated if Peddy was on fire, she would not extinguish the flames. Andrews stated she did not recall saying it.

Jack Peddy declined to make a victim impact statement, but did say on the stand, his son was an alcoholic and due to his state of mind on the day of the murder, he tried to keep his son at his house. He also said how much he missed his son.

The events leading up to Randy Peddy’s death began when he went to Andrews’ house in November 2012  on the premise of repairing her muffler on her car. Andrews had discovered he was drinking vodka when a bottle fell out of his pocket. From experience, she said she knew that was not a good thing and took him to his father’s house. Peddy returned later in the day still intoxicated.

At first he was visiting with other family members. But, he approached her when he wanted to talk about his relationship with her daughter. She didn’t think that was a good idea and told him no.

Later, court testimony would reveal, Andrews had been involved with Peddy in a relationship. When the pair were together, they were said to be very openly affectionate. But, on Andrews’ birthday in July, instead of attending her party he went to the beach with her daughter Jackie Uzell. They soon began dating and he ended the relationship with Andrews.

“Her feelings were hurt,” said Kailee Hunt, 21, during testimony.

When Uzell called the residence Andrews told her Peddy was there. Uzell, concerned about her mother, called for police to go check on her mother at the residence.

When the officer arrived in the 1400 block of Terry Road, Andrews told him “everything was OK.” So, the officer left.

After the police were called, Randy Peddy became angry and the situation began to escalate.

About an hour later, Peddy went outside and began hitting her vehicle with the foundation blocks. She attempted to stop him but in her statement told officers he pushed and hit her. She also stated Peddy had never hit her before.

Andrews said she repeatedly told him to stop destroying her vehicle.

She went into her house and retrieved a .22 rifle which had been kept loaded behind her bedroom door and went back out onto the porch.

“When I went to get the gun, I wasn’t going to shoot him. I just wanted to scare him,” Andrews said. “All I wanted was for him to just leave.”

When Peddy saw the rifle, he dared her to shoot him.

Andrews stated Peddy began coming towards her and she just “started shooting.”

Andrews fired three shots. Witnesses testified the shots were only seconds apart. But, Andrews in her taped statement said she first fired a “warning shot.” The first shell casing was found near the front door. The other closer to the railing of the porch. The third shell casing was found a few months later on the porch.

“I was just trying to get him to quit destroying my car,” Andrews said.

According to evidence and court testimony by pathologist Dr. Robert Lyons, Peddy was shot in the heart by a single bullet which also penetrated his spine. His blood alcohol level was 0.261 and he had a small amount of diazepam, a muscle relaxant, in his system.

Orange County Assistant District Attorney Cory Kneeland, used a tape measure to show jurors how far Andrews was from Peddy when she shot him. Peddy was about 35 feet away from the side of the porch when the gun was fired.

As the friends and  families of  Julia Andrews and Randy Peddy, left the courtroom, they quietly said their goodbyes to each other. Some will always be a part of each other’s lives since they are permanently intertwined with children and relationships. No matter what, they will always agree as to what was said during testimony, “Everybody loved Randy, you can’t help but love him.”