With appeals expired, Spicewood woman going to prison for fifth-grader’s death
DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — A Spicewood woman is headed to prison for the 2009 death of 11-year-old Brianna Plehn. A Burnet County Jury sentenced her to eight years for manslaughter more than two years ago.
Lynda Mescher, 51, turned herself into the Burnet County Jail on Jan. 25 where she will be held until transferred to state prison.
“Basically, the Mescher appeals ran out,” her attorney Eddie Shell said. “We asked the (Third) Court of Appeals and then the (Texas) Court of Criminal Appeals to hear it, and they refused to reverse the sentence.”
In August 2010, Mescher pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the death of Plehn, who was a fifth-grader at Bee Cave Elementary, and five counts of injury to a child in State District Judge Guilford “Gil” Jones courtroom.
The jury sentenced Mescher to eight years for Plehn’s death. She also was sentenced to four years in one of the injury to a child counts and two years in each of the remaining four injury to a child cases. The judge ordered her to concurrently serve the sentences.
But Shell, her attorney, immediately notified the court that he would file an appeal on Mescher’s behalf in regard to the sentencing. Under Texas law, if a defendant is sentenced to fewer than 10 years on a charge, he or she can remain free on bond while awaiting appeal.
In January 2009, Mescher, who ran a Spicewood horse camp, took six children to Grelle Recreational Area on Lake Travis about 1 a.m. According to court documents, during one point in the trip, the children ages 8-13 climbed into the bed of a pickup.
As Mescher drove around the park, the truck rolled over ejecting the children.
Plehn died after sustaining massive head injuries. Another girl suffered a collapsed lung and required extensive surgery. The other four children suffered less serious physical injuries.
The children were spending the night at Mescher’s horse-riding facility, Silver’s Trails, in the 7500 block of CR 404 in Spicewood at the time of the accident.
In July 2012, the Third Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin denied Mescher’s appeal. The Texas Criminal Court of Appeals also denied her appeal later that same year.
“I anticipate she’ll be eligible for parole in four years,” Shell said.