The 91st Criminal District Attorney’s Office would like to update the citizens of Eastland County on the efforts and progress they have made in regard to handling the backlog of cases created by the COVID pandemic. The 91st Criminal District Attorney’s Office has tried several felonies since the first of the year in an effort to rectify the backlog. On February 8, 2022, Assistant D.A. Paul Lewallen and Assistant D.A. Brenda Vickers tried case styled “The State of Texas v. Nickolas Winn Clark”. Defendant, Nickolas Winn Clark was charged with Burglary of a Habitation. The case was presented to the jury and a “Guilty” verdict was delivered by the jury. Thereafter, the Honorable Judge Steven Herod assessed punishment at 18 years in the Correctional Institutions Division, TDC.
On May 4, 2022, ADA Lewallen and ADA Vickers presented the case styled “The State of Texas v. Carmen Medina Carmona” to an Eastland County Jury. Defendant, Carmona was charged with Possession of Marihuana, 2000 pounds or less but more than 50 pounds. Defendant Carmona and her husband Oscar Soto were stopped for a traffic violation by a local DPS Trooper. Due to the training of our highly experienced DPS Trooper more than 160 pounds of Marihuana was discovered and seized. The Eastland County Jury at the conclusion of the presentation of the case found the Defendant Carmona “Guilty” and assessed her punishment at 8 years in the Correctional Institutions Division, TDC.
On June 3, 2022, four Felony cases were presented to an Eastland County Jury styled “The State of Texas v. Andrew William Cox”. Defendant Cox was charged with two counts of Felony Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact, one charge of Sexual Assault of a Child, and one charge of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child. The Jury found Defendant Cox “Guilty” on all charges and sentenced him to 25 years on each of the two charges of Indecency with a Child by Sexual Contact, 50 years on the Sexual Assault of a Child and 50 years on the Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child all to be served in the Correctional Institutions Divisions, TDC. These charges stem from offenses that occurred during 2016-2019. At the conclusion of the Jury’s verdict, ADA Brenda Vickers stated, “the victims of these heinous offenses finally were able to get some closure and thanks to the dedicated Eastland County Jury a monster was off the streets.” Because of the nature of the charge of Continuous Sexual Assault of a Child, Defendant Cox will do his 50 years sentence on that charge day for day. ADA Lewallen expressed that is one predator we do not have to worry about and maybe it will send a message that we will not tolerate people harming our children.
On August 9, 2022, the case of “The State of Texas v. Stephanie Henson” was presented to an Eastland County Jury. Defendant Henson was charged with Burglary of a Habitation and was found “Guilty” and is awaiting sentence to be pronounced. On October 4, 2022 three felony cases styled “The State of Texas v. Clifton Howard Lee” were presented to an Eastland County Jury. Mr. Lee pled “Guilty” prior to testimony of Possession of a Controlled Substance: Methamphetamine, less than one gram and entered a plea of “Not Guilty” to the offenses of Assault Causing Bodily Injury – Family Violence with a previous conviction for family violence and Retaliation. At the conclusion of the testimony the Jury found Mr. Lee “Guilty” of the Felony Assault Causing Bodily Injury – Family Violence, but the jury did not find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict Mr. Lee of Retaliation. The Court then sentenced Mr. Lee to 18 months TDC State Jail on the Possession of Methamphetamine and 8 years TDC on the Assault Causing Bodily Injury – Family Violence with a prior family assault conviction.
In addition to the various successful trials, the 91st Criminal District Attorney’s Office with the assistance of the Eastland County 91st District Court have been working together to try and alleviate the huge backlog created by the COVID pandemic. As of December 19, 2022, a total of 979 felony and misdemeanor cases have been filed with our office by various