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Steven Hobbs: Harris Co.’s senior inmate pleads guilty to the murders of Sarah Sanford and Patricia Pyatt

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — There would be no more waiting for the fate of an alleged serial killer to be decided in a trial, even if it took 11 years for jury selection.

Steven Hobbs, currently Harris County’s longest-serving inmate, pleaded guilty Monday before a jury could select and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

The 51-year-old would be 101 before being eligible for parole.

SEE MORE: Alleged serial killer faces trial after 10 years in prison

Hobbs’ decision marks a patient but agonizing wait for the closure, particularly for the families of Sarah Sanford and Patricia Pyatt, whose loved ones fell victim about eight years apart between 2002 and 2010.

Hobbs was arrested in 2011 after a similarly lengthy but successful investigation. It was then that he was labeled a serial killer for the first time.

“Steven Hobbs is a predator. He’s been a predator for at least a decade. So let’s look at everything now to see if it fits,” said Lt. Rolf Nelson, then 11 years old, before the Harris County Sheriff’s Homicide Unit.

In addition, Hobbs is a suspect in the 2011 murder of Wanda Trombley and multiple other charges of rape and aggravated assault. Trombley’s killing is significant because investigators found parts of her body were missing, most notably her hyoid bone, which prosecutors say would mean strangulation.

So why have families waited more than a decade for a result? Prosecutors pointed to several factors, including an election-related change on the bench, Hurricane Harvey flood damage to the courthouse, and the pandemic.

But after years of waiting, almost entirely in solitude, prosecutors believe Hobbs didn’t want to wait any longer.

“After 11 years, he had to face the reality that he needed to listen to it all again, and he opted for a plea deal instead,” said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Meriwether.

PREVIOUS STORY: Security guard faces another murder charge; “Fits the profile of the serial killer”

This is an evolving story. All updates are in this article and further ABC13 Houston’s 24/7 streaming channel.

SEE ALSO: 13 INQUIRIES: ‘Do your job,’ victim tells judge in Harris County’s slowest court

High-profile lawsuits are set to begin next week to affect Harris County’s case backlog

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https://abc13.com/steven-hobbs-serial-killer-houston-plea-deal-harris-county-jail/11811375/ Steven Hobbs: Harris Co.’s senior inmate pleads guilty to the murders of Sarah Sanford and Patricia Pyatt

Dais Johnston

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