Man with prior DWIs is senteced to years in prison

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Man with prior DWIs is senteced to years in prison Powered By Docstoc
					JOE SHANNON, JR.
CRIMINAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY
  TARRANT COUNTY TEXAS




                                      Press Release
                                      For Immediate Release                          December 16, 2011
Contact:

Melody McDonald                       Man with 7 prior DWIs gets 55 years
Public Information Officer
                                      FORT WORTH — A                 behind his seat.
Phone: 817-884-3120                   chronic drunken driver
                                                                       Smith was arrested and
                                      with seven prior DWI
Cell: 817-821-3935                                                   a mandatory blood draw
                                      convictions was sen-
Email: mjmcdonald@tarrantcounty.com                                  revealed his blood alcohol
                                      tenced to 55 years in
                                                                     concentration was .24 —
Twitter: @TarrantDAOffice             prison on Friday.
                                                                     three times the legal limit.
                                         Jurors deliberated
                                                                       During the punishment
                                      about 30 minutes on
                                                                     phase of his trial, the jury
                                      Thursday before convict-
                                                                     heard that Smith had a
                                      ing Michael Smith, 54, of
                                                                     total of 12 prior convic-
                                      felony DWI.                    tions — seven of which
                                          During the trial, prose-   were for driving while
                                      cutors Brooke Panuthos         intoxicated in Dallas             Michael Smith
                                      and Caroline Kim pre-          County.                          The jury deliberated
                                      sented evidence that Ar-                                      about three hours over
                                                                       He also had four prior
                                      lington police stopped                                        two days before assessing
                                                                     felony convictions for
                                      Smith about 4:45 p.m. on                                      the 55-year sentence.
                                                                     burglary of vehicle and
                                      Jan. 7, 2011, after a 911
                                                                     one for unauthorized use         Until Friday, Smith had
                                      caller reported erratic
                                                                     of a motor vehicle.            never been sentenced to
                                      driving.                                                      more than three years in
                                                                       Because he was a habit-
                                        While officers were                                         prison for driving while
                                                                     ual offender, he faced
                                      questioning Smith, a beer                                     intoxicated.
                                                                     from 25 years to life in
                                      can fell out of his van and
                                      an open beer was found         prison.


                                       “This verdict sends a message that Tarrant
                                      County will not tolerate drunken drivers who
                                      endanger the lives of our citizens. We hope this
                                      sentence will deter others from driving while in-
Tim Curry Criminal
Justice Center                        toxicated, especially during this holiday season,”
401 W. Belknap St.
Fort Worth, TX                        - Assistant District Attorney Brooke Panuthos
76196
817-884-1400

				
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