Lamesa Man Sentenced 32 Years for Felony DWI

John Mark Evans , formerly of Lamesa, was sentenced to 32 years confinement for the felony offense of Driving While Intoxicated , which was enhanced with prior felony convictions previously served in prison. Evans, 43, was detained on May 31, 2008 by a Ranger Police Officer after a 911 call had been made by a motorist on Interstate 20 reporting the reckless manner in which the defendant was driving. Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Shawn Lewis then conducted a DWI investigation. The defendant was determined to be intoxicated, arrested, and breath test results showed him to have an alcohol level at twice the legal limit.The Defendant represented by his counsel, Landon Thompson of Cisco, had waived his right to trial by a jury; therefore, Judge Steven R. Herod of the 91st District Court heard and considered the evidence presented, including that of a defense “expert” in the area of field sobriety testing. After finding the Defendant guilty of Driving While Intoxicated – Third Offense or More, Judge Herod heard additional testimony concerning punishment. That evidence included proof that the Defendant had been previously convicted and sent to prison on three different occasions for: three Robberies, a Burglary and a felony Theft. In addition, the Defendant had three prior misdemeanor DWI convictions. A felony DWI is classified as a third degree felony with a punishment range of not less than 2 and no more than 10 years confinement and up to a $10,000 fine. In this case, the Criminal District Attorney’s Office enhanced the case to a higher punishment range using the Defendant’s prior criminal convictions. Under Texas law, as a “habitual felony offender’, the defendant faced the minimum sentence of 25 years with a maximum of life in prison. Assistant District Attorney William C. Dowell prosecuted the case.