Dorothy Renay Holman-Williams pled guilty on February 11, 2015 to Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More in the 9th District. On April 30, Judge Kelly Case held a hearing to determine the punishment in the case and ultimately sentenced Holman-Williams to probation.
Testimony during a sentencing hearing showed that on December 13, 2013, Holman-Williams was driving erratically on Interstate 45 causing other citizens to call 911 to report her dangerous driving. She was stopped by Officer Brett Irvine of the Conroe Police Department. Officer Irvine observed an open alcohol flask next to the driver seat. Holman-Williams stumbled getting out of the vehicle and smelled of alcohol. She admitted to drinking three 18 ounce beers and then refused to perform the standardized field sobriety tests when asked by Officer Irvine. Holman-Williams also refused to provide a sample of her blood, requiring Officer Irvine to seek a blood search warrant. Her blood was tested and her blood alcohol concentration was confirmed at a 0.201. Because of two prior DWI convictions, Holman-Williams was charged with the 3rd degree felony offense of Driving While Intoxicated 3rd or More.
During the punishment hearing, the State admitted into evidence three separate “penitentiary packets” of judgments and records detailing how Holman-Williams had been sentenced to prison on three prior occasions prior to committing this offense. These prison records were admitted into evidence without objection from Holman-Williams’s attorney during the sentencing hearing. In 1987, Holman-Williams was sentenced to four years in prison for Possession of a Controlled Substance. In 1991, Holman-Williams was sentenced to seven years in prison for Possession of a Dangerous Drug. In 1992, Holman-Williams was sentenced to 20 years in prison for Possession of a Controlled Substance. Holman-Williams also had two previous convictions for DWI on August 28, 2005 and on March 6, 2009, making this DWI arrest a third degree felony. In the hearing, Holman-Williams admitted to all of these prior charges and sentences.
Under Texas law, if a person has at least two prior trips to prison, and they are charged with another felony offense (3rd degree or higher), their minimum range of punishment is 25 years to life in prison. In addition, if a deadly weapon is used during the commission of the offense, a Judge cannot sentence a person to a probation sentence but, must assess a term in prison. Therefore, in this case, Holman-Williams’s range of punishment was 25 years to life in prison. However, at the conclusion of the punishment hearing, Judge Case decided: 1) to disregard the clear evidence of Holman-Williams’s felony history and her own admissions to the prior prison trips; and 2) that the motor vehicle was not a deadly weapon. Based on these determinations, Judge Case sentenced Holman-Williams to 10 years probation. Holman-Williams will be released from jail in 10 days.
First Assistant Phil Grant: “Judge Case had absolutely no basis for totally disregarding clear evidence and self-admissions of Holman-Williams’ prior prison sentences. Based on her criminal history, she should have been sentenced to at least 25 years in prison. Notwithstanding this sentencing, our office will press forward with our mission to remove repeat felony offenders from our community.”
From the Office of Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon, Trial Bureau