FORT WORTH -- Justin Nava dug his hands into the pockets of his black trousers and shuffled around the lobby of the courtroom.
Trying to push his nervousness aside, Justin talked about baseball and school and whatever else popped into his head. Relatives hugged him and shook his hand, told him they were proud.
Teresa Nava-Salazar, his mother, waved him over.
"Justin," she said, "they're ready for you."
Never miss a local story.
With his mother next to him, Justin walked into 322nd District Court at the Tarrant County Family Law Center on Thursday afternoon.
In minutes, the 10-year-old boy with a sweet, crooked smile and black hair cropped like his father's would no longer be Justin.
He would be Henry Nava III.
This started one year ago, when Justin decided that he wanted to change his name to Henry, after his father. Henry "Hank" Nava, a Fort Worth police officer, was shot in 2005 by an ex-convict wanted on a parole violation warrant.
Nava died two days later.
Justin was 4. Here is what he remembers about his daddy: trips to Taco Bell for burritos with extra sauce and surprise excursions to Walmart for new toys.
When Justin first broached the idea of changing his name, his mother did not pay much attention, she said. Hank Nava had initially wanted to pass on his name to their son, but Teresa balked and said the child should have his own name.
Now, Justin said, he wanted to honor his father and make him proud. He grew persistent, asking monthly and then daily whether she had contacted an attorney.
"I finally realized he was really serious," Teresa said. "This was important to him, and it should be his decision."
Richard Carter, an attorney with the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, took the case pro bono, and the Fort Worth Police Officers Association paid the court fees.
Justin was required by law to write a statement to state District Judge Nancy Berger.
With a black pen, he sat in his mom's office at work and wrote in his neatest handwriting:
"Dear Judge, My name is Justin Henry Nava. I would like to change my name to Henry Nava III. The reason is because my daddy wanted that to always be my name. and my daddy died on 12-1-05 in the line of duty. and it would be my honor to have his name. Thank you, Justin Nava."
Before reading that letter, Bruce Southey, a Fort Worth police officer and friend of the family, had reservations about Justin changing his name. The letter changed his mind.
"I support this 100 percent," Southey said. "His father would be very, very honored and so proud."
KayLeigh, Justin's 15-year-old sister, joked that he will be known as Ju-Henry for a while, as friends and family adjust to the change.
On Thursday, more than two dozen friends and relatives gathered to show their support for Justin, who told Berger that he wanted to make his father proud. The proceeding took less than five minutes.
"You will now be known as Henry Nava III," the judge said. "Congratulations."
Henry Nava III grinned, posed for a few photos and walked out of the courthouse, ready to eat barbecue and cupcakes and celebrate his new name.
Sarah Bahari, 817-390-7056