Jury Hands Down 20 Years to Charles Redding for Felony DWI, LIVINGSTON, August 13, 2009 - On August 11, 2009, a PolkCounty jury sentenced Charles Allen Redding to twenty years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for Felony Driving While Intoxicated. On July 11, 2008, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Glen Goodwin and Sergeant Nita Bowen noticed Redding's driving was erratic. Redding's vehicle crossed both the center line and onto the shoulder of the road. He then turned into a private driveway in an attempt to elude law enforcement. When the officers pulled in behind Redding, he attempted to walk off and enter a residence to avoid them.When Trooper Goodwin was able to make contact with Redding, he immediately smelled the odor of alcoholic beverage about his breath and his balance was unsteady. He also noticed that Redding had scratches on his face. When asked about the scratches, Redding said he had a fight with his girlfriend and had left her walking on the side of the road. Redding's speech was slurred while talking with the trooper. Redding also told the officer he had been drinking at the state park. Due to the smell of alcohol, his lack of balance and slurred speech and his statement that he had been drinking, Redding was asked to perform field sobriety tests.
Clearly Intoxicated... The trooper first asked Redding to perform the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. Nystagmus is an involuntary jerking of the eye that is caused by the consumption of a large amount of alcohol. Trooper Goodwin noted that Redding displayed all six accepted clues of intoxication. During the second test, the walk and turn test, Redding displayed several indications he was intoxicated, including, starting the test too soon, staggering, stumbling and taking the wrong number of steps. Redding was unable to perform the final evaluation, the one leg stand test due to his unsteadiness. Trooper Goodwin then placed Redding under arrest for driving while intoxicated.
Admissions of Guilt... At the Polk County Jail Redding refused to take a breathalyzer test.While being transported to the Polk County Jail Redding made several admissions to the officer about his intoxication. He continued to tell the officer he was sorry and it was all his fault. He also told the officer he would be in a lot of trouble because it would be his third DWI. Redding has two previous convictions for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated in 2003 and 2004. After hearing the evidence, the jury deliberated for a short period of time and returned a verdict of guilty. The jury then heard evidence of Redding past criminal history.
Lengthy Criminal History... In 1991, Redding was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to probation. In 1996, he violated that probation and was sent to prison. In 1997 Redding was sentenced to prison for burglary of a building out of San JacintoCounty. In 2006 Redding was convicted of felony forgery and sent to State Jail. Redding also has misdemeanor convictions for leaving the scene of an accident and theft by check. He has two misdemeanor convictions for driving while license invalid. While out on bond on the felony DWI charge Redding tested positive for marijuana and opiates and was placed on a conditional bond by Judge Elizabeth Coker requiring that he report once a week to the probation department to be tested for drug use. Redding did not appear for his first appointment and Judge Coker issued a warrant for his arrest.
Caught with Narcotics... A few days later the Polk County Sheriff's Office received a tip about Redding's location. Sergeant Howard Smith, Lieutenant Andy Lowrie along with other deputies responded to the residence and arrested Redding on the warrant for the bond violation. After receiving permission to search the house, Sgt. Smith located methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in Redding's belongings. After hearing the testimony concerning Redding's criminal history, the bond violations and his possession of drugs, the jury sentenced Redding to the maximum sentence allowed under law, twenty years.
Kaycee Jones, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Redding said "The District Attorney's Office is extremely pleased with the verdict and sentence handed down by the jury. The residents of PolkCounty are fed up with habitual criminals endangering their lives and the lives of their families. The jury has sent a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated."
A special thank you to Deputy Troy Lanning of the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones.
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