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Jones gets 13 years in the pen

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    Vindicator file photo of 75th District Court's courtroom.
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Drunk driver Clarence Alvin Jones, age 66, was convicted in the 75th District Court and sentenced to 13 years prison.

Jones appeared before 75th District Court Judge Mark Morefield on Monday, Oct. 21, on a felony indictment for driving while intoxicated third or more. Jones entered a plea of not guilty, and the case proceeded to a trial before the jury. DPS Trooper Daniel Hebert was patrolling near US 90 west of Dayton at about 6 p.m. Sept. 8, 2018 when he noticed Jones traveling at speeds  up to 97 mph.

Upon pulling over the driver, Trooper Hebert immediately noticed multiple signs of intoxication such as bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech and the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The trooper asked Jones to perform the standardized field sobriety tests, and Jones did poorly on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus and Walk and Turn portions of the test.

Jones declined to perform the One Leg Stand, claiming physical disabilities in his neck and foot. When asked to provide a breath specimen Jones refused.

He was placed under arrest and a warrant to draw his blood was obtained. The blood test results showed Jones to have an alcohol concentration of 0.213 — over two and a half times the legal limit.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin G. Barnes presented the evidence to the jury. The jury deliberated for under 10 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty. At punishment, the defense presented several of Jones’ family members who testified to his changed ways and his good character. ADA Barnes put on evidence of Jones’ prior criminal offenses, all of which involved alcohol. Jones had previously been convicted of DWI four times and once of aggravated assault.

The jury retired to deliberate on the appropriate punishment within the range of 2 to 20 years and returned with a sentence of 13 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in approximately 1.5 years.

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