A Denton County grand jury returned a murder indictment against a chronic drunken driver on charges that he drove drunk again on Easter and caused a wreck, killing two members of an Argyle family and seriously injuring three others.
John Patrick Barton, 30, is accused of causing the wreck on Interstate 35E in Lewisville that killed Kandace Hull, 33, and her 13-year-old daughter, Autumn Caudle.
Critically injured were Hull’s husband, Anthony Hull, and their two other children, ages 12 and 16.
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/04/15/2118917/suspected-dwi-crash-on-easter.html#storylink=omni_popular#ixzz0lKRIIzys
Barton was indicted on two counts of murder and three counts of intoxication assault. It is the first time that a murder charge in Denton County has been filed for a death allegedly caused by a repeat DWI offender.
Barton, who was also hospitalized for injuries suffered in the crash, was booked into the Denton County Jail on April 7 and remained there. Bail was set at $1 million. He also has a no-bail provision for a parole violation, jail records show.
According to Denton County court records, Barton was a teenager when he was first arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, in 1997. As a 17-year-old, he pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 120 days in the county jail, 24 months’ probation and 80 hours of community service, and was assessed fines and fees, records show.
A second conviction, in August 2001, was in Denton, records show. Barton was sentenced to 300 days in jail, 30 months’ probation, 100 hours of community service, and ordered to pay fines and fees.
He was convicted in a Tarrant County court of DWI/felony repetition for an arrest in Grapevine on June 19, 2006. He was sentenced to three years in prison. He entered prison on April 18, 2008, and was paroled Jan. 22, 2009, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice records.
Because of his record, Denton authorities had said they intended to pursue murder charges. Under the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with murder if, while committing a felony (drunken driving for the fourth time, in this case), he also performs an act “clearly dangerous to human life” and causes the death of another person.
The maximum sentence is life in prison.
A condition of Barton’s 2009 parole was that he not drive unless the vehicle was equipped with an ignition interlock device.
The car Barton was driving on Easter belonged to a relative and had no interlock device.
Chronic drunken driving is a problem statewide. Some 78,395 people have three or more DWI convictions, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/04/15/2118917/suspected-dwi-crash-on-easter.html#storylink=omni_popular#ixzz0lKRZbmjM
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Wrongful Death Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 888-210-9693 or Contact Me Online.