Crime & punishment: Heights woman hurt child while DWI; Killeen man rams into tow-truck yard | Crime

A Harker Heights woman was sentenced this week after police said her child was injured when she crashed her vehicle while intoxicated.

On Wednesday in the 27th Judicial District Court, Lelesem Paul, 33, was sentenced to seven years of deferred adjudication probation, according to the Bell County District Attorney’s Office.

“Paul was ordered by the court to report to the Bell County Jail on Feb. 25, for transfer to a Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility,” said District Attorney Henry Garza in an email on Thursday. Those facilities house inpatient addiction treatment programs run by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Court records show that Paul already had pleaded guilty on Oct. 10, 2023, to a second-degree felony charge of endangering a child. She was released from jail after posting a bond of $50,000.

Heights police on Jan. 27, 2022, were dispatched to the scene a car wreck, where officers “learned that a vehicle driven by Paul had rear-ended another vehicle that was properly stopped at a red light,” according to an arrest affidavit. “Paul had her 2-year-old child in the backseat of the vehicle. Witnesses who rushed to assist Paul observed the child was lying on the floorboard of the backseat as though (the child) had been thrown from a car seat into the back of the driver’s seat and then onto the floor. Witnesses advised it did not appear as if the child had been secured into the car seat. Witnesses further advised that Paul appeared to be intoxicated.”

When tested at a hospital, police said that her blood alcohol concentration was determined to be approximately 0.30.

“Investigators learned that coworkers of Paul had video recorded her earlier on the date of the crash (because she was) acting out of character (and had been) drinking from a cup that had an odor commonly associated with an alcoholic beverage,” according to the affidavit. “A tow truck driver also located a recreational drug known as betel nuts in a pouch next to where Paul was sitting in the vehicle.”

The child was treated at a local hospital for multiple spleen lacerations, a likely concussion and multiple abrasions, police said.

Gate crasher

In an unrelated case that was decided on Tuesday in a different Belton courtroom, a 42-year-old man was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution to cover the damages he caused at a local tow yard.

Jonathan Ray Jackson was indicted by a Bell County grand jury on Feb. 24, 2021, on a state jail felony charge of criminal mischief causing damage of $2,500, or more but less than $30,000. He pleaded guilty on Dec. 18, 2023, according to Bell County court records.

On Tuesday in the 426th Judicial District Court, Judge Steve Duskie sentenced Jackson to two years of deferred adjudication probation. Duskie also ordered that Jackson pay $9,586, in restitution to the victim, court records show.

Killeen police on Dec. 21, 2020, were dispatched to a local wrecking service in the city regarding a disturbance in which a person had driven a vehicle through their fence and gate in an attempt to retrieve another vehicle inside the perimeter, according to an arrest affidavit.

“Upon arrival, officers observed a man later identified as Jackson lying face down in a field with two employees detaining him,” police said. “Various employees of the wrecker service indicated that Jackson had entered the office to retrieve his vehicle and then became upset when they told him he would have to pay to get it out. Jackson created a disturbance and was asked to leave. After leaving the office, he entered his vehicle, drove in circles in the parking lot and then accelerated into and through the perimeter fence and gate of the business.”

Police said that Jackson got out of that vehicle and then got into the vehicle that had been towed and attempted to drive away before being detained by employees.

“Jackson advised officers that he purposefully ran through the fence and gate to retrieve his vehicle because he believed it had been towed illegally,” according to the affidavit.


Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram