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HomeLocal / Area NewsSIX TIME DWI DEFENDANT RECEIVES 35 YEARS

SIX TIME DWI DEFENDANT RECEIVES 35 YEARS

SnipImageSheila Jynell Sanders, 54, of New Waverly, Texas, was sentenced by a judge Tuesday in the 359th District Court of Montgomery County, Texas, Judge Lisa Michalk presiding. Judge Michalk sentenced Sanders to 35 years in prison for Driving While Intoxicated Third or More and for Felony Evading with a Motor Vehicle, both charges involving a Deadly Weapon.

During the guilt-innocence phase of trial, Assistant District Attorney Michael Holley presented evidence that Sanders was observed by a resident of The Woodlands driving south on I-45 from Willis on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at about 4:00 p.m.. The 911 caller remained behind Sanders as Sanders repeatedly endangered other drivers with her Toyota SUV. A Trooper from the Department of Public Safety attempted to pull Sanders over, but Sanders refused to stop and attempted to evade the Trooper for another 6 miles. Several law enforcement agencies combined to force Sanders to a stop on I-45 just north of the Hardy Toll Road. Fortunately, no other motorists were injured. A road-side investigation revealed Sanders to be very significantly impaired. A blood test later revealed Sanders to be under the influence of the prescription drug carisoprodol, commonly known as Soma.

After the jury found Sanders guilty of both DWI and Evading, prosecutors presented evidence of Sanders’ five prior DWI’s convictions, four of which occurred in Harris County and one in Williamson County. Sanders had previously been imprisoned for two of the prior DWI convictions. Judge Michalk sentenced Sanders to 35 years confinement. The jury found that a Deadly Weapon had been used, so Ms. Sanders will not be eligible for parole until she has served 17.5 years.

District Attorney Brett Ligon stated after the trial that “Clearly, Ms. Sanders’s disregard both for her own safety and the safety of others required a strong response, and our office, together with the service of the jury and the reasoned judgment of the Court, provided that response. Ms. Sanders had to be stopped, and now she has been for a very long time.”

appropriate sentence of the Court provided exactly the response needed. I intend to do everything within my power to ensure that the people of this County are protected from intoxicated drivers.”

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