Rusk County Woman Gets 58 Years in Prison for Drunk Driving
At least 12 people in Rusk County have decided to get tough with drunk drivers. A jury in Henderson has sentenced a Lindale woman to 58 years in prison, after finding her guilty of driving while intoxicated under the influence of several drugs. It was her fourth DWI conviction.
This was 56 year old Pamela Baggett's second go-around on these charges. She originally pleaded guilty to the DWI charge and got a 25-year sentence. Even though she pleaded guilty, she appealed the conviction, and an appeals court overturned it on technical grounds and ordered a new trial.
In August of 2009, Henderson police found Baggett driving a car, even though she was on parole from an earlier felony conviction and wasn't even supposed to be on the road.
She was charged with DWI after failing two field sobriety tests - and admitting she had also been taking Vicodin, Valium, Demerol and several other drugs.
If you're wondering why she got such a stiff sentence, the jury was tough on her because, by most definitions, she qualifies as a "career criminal". This was her fourth DWI conviction, and she also has eight other felony convictions.
The Rusk County D.A. says she's eligible to apply for parole and probably won't serve half the 58 year sentence. She's 56 years old now, and she will be a very old woman when she gets out.