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Deadbeat dad will pay in more ways than one

CONROE- A Montgomery County dead beat dad received the maximum sentence on Tuesday, after years of refusing to pay child support on his three children.

Edward Othell Ringo, 56, of Livingston was sentenced to 2 years in state jail, a $10,000 fine and restitution of $108,000, in the 221st District Court of Judge Suzanne Stovall.

The sentence came at the request of Montgomery County Prosecutor Frank Barnett.

When Edward and Margaret Ringo divorced in 1990, they shared a 2-year-old daughter and 1-year-old twin daughters. Barnett said Ringo had a wife and son prior to that marriage and also refused to pay child support for his son.

Ringo was arrested in Polk County in May, four days after he was placed on the list of the Texas Attorney General’s Top 10 Most Wanted Child Supported Evaders. The last time Ringo paid any child support was in 2002 and he was indicted in 2003.

“This is a case where the conduct was very egregious,” Barnett said.

Ringo repeatedly told his ex-wife he would not pay child support, and once made the comment within earshot of a caseworker with the Attorney General’s Office. Ringo avoided paying for years despite multiple court orders and a contempt charge for which he paid a fine.

Barnett said Ringo worked over the years and had a business with his girlfriend, Paula Hutchinson, at the time of his arrest. The business was paid $70,000 during the last calendar year from just one client. Checks were made out to Do More Construction, with Hutchinson’s name on them.

Ringo had a third wife with whom he shared no children, but he left her with a different set of problems when he vanished about a year after their marriage in the mid 1990’s. The woman wanted a divorce, but could never find Ringo and had begun to suspect he was dead.

Ringo’s daughters have flourished without their father’s help. The oldest of the three girls graduated from Texas A&M this month and the twins are now in College. Barnett said all three have worked since age 13.

Ringo is in the Montgomery County Jail.

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