October 1, 2022 6:20 pm

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Posted: 9.5.2022 14:44

Jury Returns Max Sentence for Hit and Run Drunk Driver

On Friday, May 6, 2022, a Montgomery County jury sentenced Jeff Taylor Bell, 27 years old, to 20 years in prison after finding him guilty of Accident Involving Personal Injury or Death (commonly referred to as Failure to Stop and Render Aid) and Intoxication Manslaughter. This is the maximum sentence allowable by law in the State of Texas for both of these offenses. Assistant District Attorney Michael Ghutzman and Vehicular Crimes Chief Brittany Hansford tried this case in the 359th District Court, the Honorable Kathleen Hamilton presiding.
On June 2, 2020, Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 2 and the Department of Public Safety investigated the two-vehicle crash near FM 2090 and FM 3083. During the trial, the State presented evidence that Bell unlawfully drove across a parking lot to avoid turning at the intersection. On entering FM 2090, Bell failed to yield and struck a motorcycle carrying a husband and wife, causing them to be ejected. Both riders were wearing helmets and protective clothing. Bell immediately fled the scene, but his bumper bearing his Texas license plate was recovered.
The husband was transported to HCA Houston Healthcare – Conroe, but succumbed to his significant injuries. Miraculously, his wife sustained relatively minor injuries.
After Bell fled the scene in his vehicle, he was stopped two hours later in Wharton County, Texas by Trooper Glen Taft of the Department of Public Safety. Trooper Taft stopped Bell’s vehicle for having an inoperable headlamp, but immediately noticed signs of impairment. Bell attempted to run across US Highway 59 but was quickly apprehended by Trooper Taft.
To prove intoxication at the time of the crash, prosecutors presented the testimony of a local convenience store manager who testified that Bell tried to buy beer from him before the crash. The manager stated that he refused to sell Bell beer because he was belligerent and appeared to be intoxicated. The jury also heard from Bell’s father, who noted that Bell had been drinking prior to the crash.
In punishment, the jury heard evidence concerning a prior hit and run crash investigated by the Splendora Police Department in 2019, where Bell injured a woman and fled the scene. The jury also learned that Bell was previously convicted of Driving While Intoxicated after being arrested by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) that same year. MCSO Deputy Jacob Rodgers, the investigating officer in the DWI, testified that Bell stated he would drive while intoxicated again during a profanity-laced tirade on the way to jail in that case.
The Montgomery County Constable’s Office Precinct 2, the Department of Public Safety, the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Office, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office, the Montgomery County Hospital District, and a number of civilians assisted in this investigation. The deceased victim is survived by his wife and his young daughter.
Prosecutor Michael Ghutzman: “Jeff Bell has repeatedly demonstrated that he is a danger to the public. We are all safer now that he is off the road. I appreciate the law enforcement officers from Montgomery County and the Department of Public Safety for putting together a comprehensive investigation that justified the jury returning the maximum sentence on both charges.”
Vehicular Crimes Chief Brittany Hansford: “We are incredibly thankful for Trooper Glen Taft for his vital role in this investigation. No amount of time will ever accurately measure the value of a husband and father taken in such an avoidable manner. The jury swiftly sought the maximum sentence allowed by law to do everything they could to keep our roadways safe as long as possible.”
District Attorney Brett Ligon: “We shouldn’t be surprised that Jeff Bell continued to drink and drive. After all, he told us he would continue to do so after his DWI arrest. And now Jeff Bell should not be surprised to find himself in prison, and neither should anyone else who thinks they can put the public at risk in this way.”

6/25/2020 263627 BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 16422 CONDRA RD CONROE TX 77306 MC CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 2 130 N MAIN ST. 20-349542 CCL5 SURETY TO SURRENDER / MISD / STS 1000 20-06-06597/II D359 INTOXICATED MANSLAUGHTER W/ VEHICLE 100000 20-06-06597/I D359 FSRA – ACCIDENT INVOLVING DEATH 20-06-06597 D359 BENCH WARRANT/DEF FEL

JEFF TAYLOR BELL

SOME OF HIS PRIOR ARRESTS

6/25/2020 263627 BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 16422 CONDRA RD CONROE TX 77306 MC CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 2 130 N MAIN ST. 20-349542 CCL5 SURETY TO SURRENDER / MISD / STS 1000 20-06-06597/II D359 INTOXICATED MANSLAUGHTER W/ VEHICLE 100000 20-06-06597/I D359 FSRA – ACCIDENT INVOLVING DEATH 20-06-06597 D359 BENCH WARRANT/DEF FEL
5/2/2020 263627 BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 16422 CONDRA RD CONROE TX 77306 MCSO 16422 CONDRA RD 20-349542 CCL5 VIOLATION PROTECTIVE/BOND ORDER 1000
4/24/2020 263627 BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 16422 CONDRA RD CONROE TX 77306 CONROE PD 3901 E DAVIS 19020589 MUCR PUBLIC INTOXICATION (PI) 19020589W MUCR FAILURE TO APPEAR MC 1CC43572 JP1 PUBLIC INTOXICATION (PI) 2235600 O101 TERRORISTIC THREAT OF FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD 2130
BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 16422 CONDRA RD CONROE TX 77306 MCSO ” 16422 CONDRA RD” 263627 INSTANTER CCL5 ASSAULT – (CLASS A) FAMILY VIOLENCE(FV) 500 1CC43572 JP1 PUBLIC INTOXICATION (PI)
BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 13520 STOWE RD CONROE TX 77306 MCSO ” KINSMAN RD. / 105 E” 263627 19-339885 CCL1 CAPIAS PROFINE/MISD 542.1
BELL, JEFF TAYLOR ” 13520 STOWE RD CONROE TX 77306 MCSO 13520 Stowe Rd 263627 INSTANTER JP2 ASSAULT CLASS C – FAMILY VIOLENCE(FV)
BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 3113 PLEASANT GROVE COLLEGE STATION TX 77845 SPLENDORA PD First St.Splendora 263627 INSTANTER D435 FSRA – ACCIDENT INVOLVING INJURY 20000
4/22/2019 BELL, JEFF TAYLOR 31163 PLEASANT GROVE COLLEGE STATION TX 77845 MCSO ” 16422 CONDRA RD” 263627 INSTANTER JP4 PUBLIC INTOXICATION