P R O C E E D I N G S
2 (10:11 a.m.)
(Open Court, Defendant Present)
THE COURT: This is Cause No. 1338521, in the State of Texas versus William Vaughn III. This is a punishment hearing that has been — has taken place after the trial to which the jury has found you guilty, Mr. Vaughn. Is the State ready?
MR. REID: The State’s ready.
MR. GRAHAM: Defense is ready, Judge.
THE COURT: And my understanding is there’s not gonna be testimony but just argument and telling me what each side kind of wants in this case because y’all can’t decide?
MR. GRAHAM: That’s correct.
MR. REID: Judge, I would like to request before we do start — I have copies of prior judgments that I’d like to review for about five minutes.
THE COURT: Oh, sure. We’ll just recess for a few minutes.
MR. REID: Thank, Judge.
(Open Court, Defendant Present)
THE COURT: All right. I need for the
court to be quiet, please. We’re back on record. Mr. Reid.
MR. REID: Judge, first of all, the State would just resubmit its case in chief. I ask that we look over the facts of the crime that was committed. It was an accident on a lightly traveled road. You remember the testimony of the driver of the other vehicle. That Mr. Vaughn tried to flee the scene. He tried to prevent him from doing so, and he continued to drive as that individual was hanging out window of the car. Also in the case the breath alcohol content was In addition, we would offer the Court certified copies of the defendant’s prior driving while intoxicated.
THE COURT: Shall we have this marked as an exhibit for the punishment hearing?
MR. REID: Yes, Your Honor.
THE COURT: All right. Back on the record.
MR. REID: Your Honor, the State would offer State’s Exhibit 11. That’s a certified copy of the defendant’s prior conviction for driving while intoxicated. Offense date in 1991.
THE COURT: Any objection?
MR. GRAHAM: We stipulate to it, Judge. No objection.
THE COURT: Admitted.
MR. REID: Your Honor, next, the State would offer —
THE COURT: This says ’94. But it was filed — it was — the arrest was ’91?
MR. GRAHAM: Yes, Judge.
THE COURT: Okay. Yes.
MR. REID: Your Honor, next the State would offer State’s Exhibit 12. This is a conviction for injury to a child where the defendant was placed on probation. Subsequently, the probation was revoked and the defendant was sentenced to eight years. He’s a convicted felon. And if the Judge would take the time to look at the information of that charge, Count One was murder, and the victim in each count was the same individual. You can further see that that resulted in a jury trial, and after ten hours of deliberations the defendant was found not guilty on Count One but was placed on probation and ultimately revoked. It would be the State’s argument at this time that the defendant is not a good candidate for probation. He’s been offered it in the past and revoked
on that prior probation. Because of the severity of the crime in the past and that this is his second driving while intoxicated offense, the State would ask you to sentence him to 300 days jail. Also keep it in mind that this defendant currently has a charge of assault/family violence pending in this very court.
THE COURT: Are there any objections to Exhibit 12?
MR. GRAHAM: No, Judge.
THE COURT: That’ll be admitted. All right. Let me hear your argument.
MR. GRAHAM: Starting backwards, yes, he had the charge for assault/family violence. He’s presumed innocent. He wants a trial in that case. So that’s all I would say about that. I think the State’s trying to strong arm some type of agreement using that, but Mr. Vaughn is not gonna give up his constitutional right to a trial in that case. As far as the injury to a child case goes, it was a reckless offense. It was over 15 years ago. He was — The jury could not come up with a — found him not guilty on the murder case, and he negotiated a plea with his lawyers for probation. If the Judge would revoke probation as
included in the packet, his violations — or his revocation was based on technicals. One was while he was doing condition of probation time. He didn’t get up out of bed when he was told to. He used — He cursed at someone. And I don’t remember the third one, but it was essentially something that was a technical violation, not a new offense. Lastly, there’s some confusion about his DWI conviction. Mr. Vaughn communicated to me that he didn’t realize he was convicted. And we had to go downstairs to look at the judgment for him to prove — to show it, because he never appeared before the court in 1991.
THE COURT: Why didn’t you appear? Why didn’t he appear?
MR. GRAHAM: My understanding is that the attorney spoke to him outside and they signed paperwork, and I guess that was how he was pronounced. It’s so remote that I spoke to Mr. Youngblood. He doesn’t have any memory of the plea itself. Mr. Vaughn has paid his debt to society on his felony case. I understand that that makes him ineligible for probation, Judge, but he’s also done — made many steps to — to not be a victim of institutionalization or consider himself a victim in
that he’s maintained employment and he’s maintaining his financial obligations. While he’s been on bond he’s made all his court appearances over a two-year period. He’s not had — I believe he had one violation on his interlock which was the result of — well, at any rate, it was an equivocal violation at best and he was not — his bond was not revoked.
THE COURT: Would you check that? Bond conditions of interlock. Okay. I’m back to maintaining employment, financial responsibility, one violation on his interlock that involved alcohol.
MR. GRAHAM: Right. Yes. It was a low reading. Our explanation was that Mr. Vaughn had had a salad that had some sort of — kind of like, a red wine vinegar or something like that. You admonished him, told him he gets one try, but if this happens again, he going to jail. And since then there’s been no violation. He also had some health problems while he was on bond. Had a blood clot that was diagnosed as pulmonary embolism. Had to go on extended leave through his employer. And that’s why he has a different attorney for his family violence case. Still is on a medical regimen for that problem.
THE COURT: What year was that?
MR. GRAHAM: That was in 2014. I don’t remember the exact date.
THE COURT: Who is his – maintaining employment. How long has he been employed and where?
THE DEFENDANT: Three years on the 5th of November.
THE REPORTER: You have to speak up, sir.
THE DEFENDANT: Oh. Three years on November the 5th.
MR. GRAHAM: The name of the employer is J.C. Delivers.
THE COURT: So you drive a truck?
THE DEFENDANT: Right now I’m not. I’m a supervisor.
THE COURT: You’re a supervisor?
THE DEFENDANT: It’s just the crew – I just been there longer.
THE COURT: Okay. And how old are you?
THE DEFENDANT: Forty-one.
THE COURT: Forty-one. Maintained employment for three years, but —
MR. GRAHAM: Well, with this employer.
THE COURT: What else?
MR. GRAHAM: Well, Judge, he and I discussed probation, and he would prefer that I ask you for a minimum jail sentence, understanding that you have the discretion to allow him to do any jail sentence on either labor detail, overnight, work release or weekends. Mr. Vaughn typically works five, six days a week, long hours. I think he could do one day a week for labor detail, but that’s — I don’t know how realistic that is, Judge. His minimum is 90 days. But because of the remoteness of his first DWI — I also heard the witnesses that the State brought. In addition to those witnesses, you heard the police officers that did the investigation. And they did not get an objective statement as to the cause of the accident from anyone else at the scene, and they did not approach or ask Mr. Vaughn about his version of the accident. So I still think that — I mean, the jury believed what they believed, found him guilty, but —
THE COURT: You’re accepting that?
MR. GRAHAM: Yes, Judge.
THE COURT: Well, if y’all will just — we’ll just take a — I need to look at this stuff and so have a seat and wait for me.
THE COURT: Okay. My decision is I’m
sentencing you to 191 days in Tarrant County Jail. And the first 55 days, or 110 days, will be in jail and the remainder 40 days will be on weekends, Friday through Monday. That’s my decision.
MR. GRAHAM: Thank you, Judge.
THE COURT: No fine. And he doesn’t have to pay court costs.
MR. GRAHAM: Judge, Mr. Vaughn intends to appeal. He has a bond currently. Gonna ask the Court if that bond can be carried over or if he will set a new bond?
THE COURT: You know, have I rarely set an appeal bond. If you’re allowed to do that, I will do that. All right?
MR. GRAHAM: Thanks, Judge. Do we need to get authority — you mean to carry over?
THE COURT: I will carry it over. I’m just saying I’ve actually never done that before or if the appellate court even accepts that, but if they do, I will.
MR. GRAHAM: Okay.
THE COURT: And then he needs to come up here and go through all that. But until the appeal is set, he’s to be in jail, basically.
MR. GRAHAM: Okay. Until the bond is
THE COURT: And have you filed yet?
MR. GRAHAM: No, the notice. Not yet, Judge. I was waiting for first sentencing first.
THE COURT: Okay. We’ll still have to do all the paperwork. So come over here, and he’ll get that done in just a minute.
MR. GRAHAM: I’ll have a notice drafted right now.
THE COURT: Okay.
P R O C E E D I N G S