On August 31, 2011, a jury in the 435th District Court of Montgomery County sentenced David Ray Atwood, 49, to 50 years in prison for Driving while Intoxicated- 3rd Habitual Offender. The jury also found that the defendant used his motor vehicle as a deadly weapon meaning that he will have to serve a minimum of 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorneys Cindy Pulcher and Amanda Webb presented evidence to a jury that on February 26, 2010, around 3:30 pm, David Ray Atwood, while driving through a residential neighborhood, struck three mailboxes and crashed into a tree. After civilians called 911, Deputy Curtis with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene to find David Ray Atwood hiding in the garage of a home near the crashed vehicle. DPS Trooper Mc Gilbery arrived on scene to investigate the crash. After conducting an investigation, it was determined that David Ray Atwood was the driver of the crashed vehicle. Trooper Mc Gilbery performed standard field sobriety tests after smelling a strong odor of alcoholic beverage on David Ray Atwood. The evidence produced by the State showed David Ray Atwood to be highly intoxicated. The jury came back with a verdict finding David Ray Atwood Guilty of a felony offense of Driving While Intoxicated.
During the punishment phase, the jury was presented with evidence of David Ray Atwood’s criminal history, which included a misdemeanor DWI in 1983 and 1991, along with eight prior felony convictions for offenses including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft of a vehicle, burglary of a habitation and burglary of a building. The prior felony convictions elevated his range of punishment to 25 years to Life. The Jury deliberated just under an hour before assessing a 50 year sentence. Because of the deadly weapon finding, Atwood must serve half of his sentence, or 25 years, before becoming eligible for parole.
The case was heard by visiting Judge S. Stovall.