On May 30, 2015 Donald Middleton, 56, of Houston slammed into Joshua Hayden’s pickup on Fostoria Road. Hayden, 16, the son of Constable Rowdy Hayden was luckily uninjured. Middleton was arrested for his 9th DWI. Middleton had been at the intersection on Fostoria Road at Four Pines waiting for traffic to clear. He then made a left turn to head toward US 59, however he turned into the oncoming and struck young Hayden’s truck almost head-on. Middleton then ran across Fostoria Road to the Exxon Station where he tried to flee. Customers told him that he better not leave and told Middleton who he had hit. Middleton, extremely intoxicated said he didn’t care who he hit. He tried saying Hayden was speeding and had no headlights on and he did not see him. He then began to beg store clerks to hide him, which he could be heard on security video repeating 11 times. His blood alcohol was .184, more than twice the legal limit. When he was arrested he was surprised to learn that his driver’s license which he had not had with him in over two years was still valid.
Last week he plead guilty and elected to have Judge Hamilton of the 359th District Court pronounce sentence. With all his priors, his DWI’s were enhanced to a habitual offender. He can be sentenced anywhere from 25-years to life in prison. After his attorney appeared in court Friday morning almost 45-minutes late the punishment phase continued from Thursday. A Galveston Constable testified that he had to chase Middleton down in Galveston County as he fled. Middleton drove through a neighborhood, extremely intoxicated with children playing in the vicinity. He then drove through his front yard, jumped out and tried to run to the front door. He was talked by Constable Sharp and arrested.
While he was on bond for his 5th DWI he drew a 6th DWI. Middleton’s 7th DWI was in Magnolia in 2005 in which he got 2 years in prison.
On his eighth DWI he was on the North Sam Houston Toll Road intoxicated. He thought he was in the EZ Tag lane when he slammed into the back of a car with a family of three. They were stopped in line waiting to pay cash for their toll. He was able to plea to 13 years in prison for that dwi. The family suffered minor injuries.
The punishment phase of the trial started last Thursday. On Friday night Middleton himself took the stand at which time Judge Hamilton decided to continue on Tuesday as Middleton’s attorney Bill Cheadle stated it could take a while.
Tuesday afternoon at 1pm Judge Hamilton was ready to go. Middleton was on the stand waiting on his attorney so he could start his testimony. Again, his attorney Bill Cheadle was late and 45 minutes later the testimony began once he arrived.
Over the days Middleton’s family took the stand. His brother and sister told of his life. Middleton was recorded on jail telephones talking to his sister and not showing any remorse for what happened. He still tried to put the blame on young Hayden saying he was going 100 miles per hour and had no headlights. However, the video from the Exxon Station showed different. At one point he told his sister that when he got out he and 100 bikers were going to Splendora and take care of it.
In 1980 Middleton was admitted to Spring Shadows Glen for his alcohol abuse. But as his sister picked him up for a visit, she testified she could tell he was already on something. She also stated her father had been a drinker until he met her mother. The night they met, was the last drink she said her father ever had.
Through the entire testimony, Middleton seemed to try to place the blame on everyone but himself.
When his brother was on the stand, the attorney told him his brother could get 99 years. To this Middleton’s brother responded that 99 years was a joke.
Donald Middleton himself took the stand. He stated while attending MacArthur High School he was picked on and looked down on. Then in his freshmen year several students who drank brought him in with their group. From then on he drank. When asked why he never attempted to show remorse for the Hayden crash he said he was told not to do anything. He told Rowdy Hayden in the courtroom Tuesday that he was sorry but never said anything to Joshua Hayden who he had hit.
Middleton’s girlfriend Cheryl Latham took the stand and said she thought he could be rehabilitated. Latham said she knew he could give up driving as he didn’t like to anyhow and he could talk to groups. She had no answer when prosecutors asked what they would tell the next family after he killed a family member while driving while intoxicated with 9 priors and he was out on the streets.
It took Judge Hamilton about 30 minutes to render her decision.