Today, after deliberating for under fifteen minutes, a jury of eight women and four men sentenced a man to 20 years in the penitentiary for Driving While Intoxicated.
Martin Shawn Carswell pleaded guilty to felony DWI, and a punishment trial was held in the 266th District Court. After the verdict was rendered, Judge Jason Cashon immediately imposed the sentence.
Carswell, 35, had been previously convicted twice for misdemeanor D.W.I. in 2001 and 2006. He also had been convicted of Burglary in 2012. Because of his previous convictions, Carswell was facing two to twenty years in prison for the felony D.W.I.
Testimony in trial from Donald Seigars revealed that on October 5, 2015, Carswell drove his Chevrolet pickup off the road in Dublin into Seigars’ parked vehicle, shoving that vehicle into Seigars’ home. The vehicle came to rest just feet from where Seigars’ 9-year old daughter was sleeping. Upon arrival on scene by Dublin Police, Officer Jacob Ivy determined that Carswell was intoxicated.
A blood sample was taken from Carswell. The DPS Crime Laboratory in Abilene found the sample contained a blood alcohol concentration of 0.28, more than three and a half times the 0.08 level which defines intoxication.
In closing argument, District Attorney Alan Nash asked the jury to assess a maximum punishment because imprisonment is the only way to ensure the defendant cannot operate a vehicle on public roadways while intoxicated.
“The nightmare scenario is this: you, your children, your grandchildren are cruising down 281 on the way back from Six Flags or a Ranger game. You top a blind hill, and in your lane, is this black truck, driven by this defendant," Nash said. "We owe it to every driver, every child, and every grandchild on the road to make sure that doesn’t happen for as long as we can under the law.”