DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — State District Judge Dan Mills sentenced a 46-year-old Marble Falls man to life in prison after a Burnet County jury convicted him July 15 on his sixth driving-while-intoxicated charge.
This marked Terry Lynn Stevens’ fourth felony DWI conviction. He has served two previous prison terms, according to Assistant District Attorney Blake Ewing.
All this added up for Stevens to be classified as a habitual offender, meaning the jury could recommend a sentence between 25 years and life, the attorney said. They chose life.
“I think the jury realized that if he was out, he would still drink and drive,” Ewing said. “So they felt the best way to keep the public safe was to sentence him to life.”
Along with being in prison twice for DWI convictions, Stevens has been on probation twice for DWI charges and was never able to live up to those conditions. Ewing said Stevens was on parole when he was arrested in May 2013 for his most recent DWI incident.
Stevens had a blood alcohol concentration that was three times the legal limit when Marble Falls police arrested the man after he ran his truck into a fence in Marble Falls in May 2013.
This is the second life sentence an area jury has recommended and the judge has issued in less then a month. On June 17, a Llano County jury convicted Richard Lee Pollard, 72, of Llano for driving while intoxicated (third or more). The jury recommended life for Pollard, to which Mills then sentenced the man.
Ewing, who also handled the prosecution of that case, said he hoped the long sentences for habitual offenders such as Stevens and Pollard sends a warning to others.
“We really hope if somebody is headed down this road and may have picked up a DWI already, they will see these long sentences and realize it’s not just that they could destroy somebody else’s life by drinking and driving, but they may end up spending the rest of their life in prison,” Ewing said.
As for the stringent sentences, Ewing said he felt juries and the public are more aware of the dangers of DWI and its consequences, so they’re willing to send people to prison for long stretches if the individual has several previous charges and convictions.