MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas - A jury put a man in prison for the rest of his life on Thursday after he was found guilty of his eighth DWI.
KHOU 11 checked to see how many other DWI life sentences have been handed down in the county the past decade.
The man found guilty, Michael Martz, was seen driving while intoxicated before he was arrested in the Kroger parking lot in Porter. The woman who called him in says he almost collided with her head on with her kids inside the car.
He is now one of seven men serving life sentences after being convicted multiple times of DWI.
“He was just about to hit a parked car, and he’s going to hit it, he just, oh my God," the witness said in the 911 recording.
You can hear concern and almost anger in her voice.
“I mean he’s going to cause an accident, he’s like very reckless," the witness said.
The 911 call tells of the moments right before the 62-year-old was arrested.
“Oh. He’s trying to get out his truck with the truck still moving," the witness said in the recording.
A video recorded his field sobriety test.
“Look at my finger, you're not looking at my finger. I'm moving my finger up and down, but your eye is not moving up and down," said a Montgomery County officer during the test.
“We found out that he had some alcohol, marijuana, Xanax, hydrocodone and soma in his system," said Asst. District Attorney Brittany Litaker.
Being escorted to the patrol car, Martz seemed to know what was coming.
“They’re going to lock me up forever," Martz said in the video.
He is not the only repeat offender that Montgomery County District attorneys have put behind bars indefinitely.
“Our juries have said we’re done with you. We’re not going to wait around until you kill someone," said Montgomery Co. Special Crimes Bureau Chief Tyler Dunman.
Seven people have received life sentences and four more have gotten 50 to 99 years, bringing it to eleven repeat offenders, some up 16 convictions.
Dunman said the first two convictions are misdemeanors, and the third is a felony. That one and each after that can lead to time in prison from two to ten years.
If someone has already served two prison sentences, that punishment range then becomes 25 years to life.
Dunman says he doesn’t know why the numbers are so high in Montgomery County, but says when they see a repeat offender, game over.
“We don’t negotiate that. We don’t plea it to a misdemeanor. We don’t offer probation. Our strategy is to remove them from society so that we can protect the public and this community," he said.
According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, nearly forty people are serving life in prison for multiple DWI convictions.
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