WARNING: The story below is graphic in details of sexual molestation. Reader discretion is advised.
Prosecutor Kaycee Jones makes a convincing argument to a Polk County Jury.
Jury Finds Jim Price Guilty of Child Sex Crimes, LIVINGSTON, September 28, 2011 - A Polk County Jury found 54 year old Jim Don Price of Livingston guilty of 4 counts of felony child sex crimes. The jury then subsequently sentenced Price to 32 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice without any chance of parole. The trial, in District Judge David Wilson's Court lasted for three days (September 26 - 28). The jury deliberated for around 3 hours before rendering their decision of guilty.
Price was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a 10 year girl. The abuse happened for up to a year between 2009 and early 2010. The victim (now 12) took the witness stand on day 2 of the trial and struggled to talk through the entire exam and cross exam. She cried as she pointed out in detail the depraved things that Price did to her. When Prosecutor Kaycee Jones asked how Price touched her, the victim was on the verge of tears and struggled, but she continued "He made me lay down beside him". When Jones asked what happened next, tears began to flow. Unable to talk, Jones stood beside the victim at the witness stand and used anatomical diagrams. The victim used the diagrams to point out what he did to her. Jones then asked her if these things happened more than ten times, the victim said yes. "So it happened lots of times?", Jones said, the victim again said yes.
The level of demoralizing sexual abuse that the victim suffered at the hands of 53 year old Jim Price was difficult to listen to. In a video taped interview with a CPS investigator, the victim's statements remained consistent with an audio taped interview, and the statements she made on the witness stand; acts that included various forms of penetration, licking, and ejaculation. Additionally, she stated that Price made her watch hardcore porn videos in an effort to groom her for acceptance of sex. Price and his wife performed sex acts in view of the child. Both were arrested after the child came forward in January of 2010.
Price Took the Witness Stand The defense team summoned Jim Price to the witness stand. During cross examination, Prosecutor Joe Martin grilled Price about the allegations and insisted that the victim's testimony was true. Price bluntly stated that the victim was lying. Price denied ever sexually abusing her, denied sex acts with his wife in front of the victim, and denied making her watch porn videos (even though his lawyer, Scott Pawgan, stated in opening arguments that Price did watch porn videos in front of his victim).
Closing Arguments During Closing Arguments, Prosecutor Joe Martin told the Jury, (himself appearing emotional), that the title of Daddy is one of the greatest titles any man can ever have. "...But Jim Don Price has stamped the victim's precious little soul what a daddy is", Martin said, then continued "Now you need to permanently stamp Jim Don Price with what he is" (a child molester).
When Prosecutor Kaycee Jones took the stand she stated that Price's denial of showing porn videos to the victim "...blew Price's argument right out of the water". Jones told the Jury that if the victim didn't learn these things from videos, then where did she learn them from in such vivid detail. She continued with a sense of urgency in her voice as she told the jury that Price molested his 10 year old victim day after day, month after month, over and over again.
Price's lawyer stated that "There's no physical evidence to back any of this up" (even though there was semen found in the house with the victim's DNA in the same place).
Guilty Verdict Returned When the jury returned the verdict, Jim Don Price was convicted of: 1 count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, 2 counts of indecency with a child by contact, and 1 count of attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child (tried to use a vibrator on the victim).
Punishment Handed Down During punishement arguments, Prosecutor Kaycee Jones stated to the jury "We always hear that "they" don't do enough about crime. "They" need to lock these criminals up for good", Jones continued, "Well today you are "they"". Jones further stated "30 years is not enough. 50 years is not enough". "This is your chance to say, If you do this type of crime you will get the harshest punishment possible". "This is a case that calls for maximum prison time for all 4 counts". Jones implored the jury "Imagine the terror that she lived in everyday and night about whether he was going to come into her room, or make her go into his bedroom, and how happy she must've felt when he didn't come in", "She went through a year of unimaginable horror". She continued, "This is going to affect her for the rest of her life".
The jury deliberated on the punishement for over 2 hours before sentencing Price to 32 years in prison. At the age of 54 and facing 32 years, Jim Don Price will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars. Price's lawyer, Scott Pawgan plans to appeal.
Prosecutor Joe Martin questions defendant Jim Price (sitting in witness stand).
Jim Don Price looks back at his family just moments after being found guilty of 4 counts of child sex crimes.
Transport Deputy, Patrick Battise stands near Jim Price after putting Price in hand cuffs and ankle chains (in preparation for transport to jail).
Jim Don Price's Lawyer, Scott Pawgan, has an M.O. that can be characterized by last minute shenanigans:
• Price's trial was to begin in July but Defense Attorney Scott Pawgan asked for postponement cause he wasn't quite ready (trial was reset for early September).
• September trial date arrives and Pawgan once again manages to get trial postponed (Trial date reset to September 26)
• September 26: Just minutes before trial is to begin, Pawgan once again tried to postpone trial (Judge David Wilson denied Pawgan's request)
• September 29: After Price is found guilty by a Polk County Jury, Pawgan tries to get a hearing to declare a mistrial (because a juror's husband was present in the courtroom during the trial).
Defense Attorney, Scott Pawgan
*** See Related Story Below Regarding This Trial ***
Livingston, Texas, Sept. 26, 2011: Jim Don Price (center) with his defense team listens as an audio tape is played from his allgeged victim's interview with CPS.
Alleged Child Molester Goes on Trial, LIVINGSTON, September 27, 2011 - Opening arguments in the trial of an alleged child molester began in District Judge David Wilson's Court on the morning of September 26, 2011. Defendant Jim Don Price, 54, of Livingston, allegedly molested a 10 year old girl who was his step daughter. The molestation is believed to have occurred between June of 2009 through January of 2010. Evidence was presented before a Polk County Jury as the prosecution explained to the jury how price had penetrated the victim in several ways repeatedly during the six month period of time. Lead Prosecutor Kaycee Jones with the Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office pointed out Price's pornographic viewing habits of watching hardcore pornographic videos right in front of the alleged victim. Additionally Price and his wife (34 year old Wendy Chason) allegedly performed sexual acts in view of the young victim. Price is being tried for sexual assault of a child, indecency with a child, and attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child.
The victim came forward about the molestation and was interviewed by a Child Protective Services (CPS) investigator. At the time of the arrest on February 3, 2010, Detective Christopher Lima with the Polk County Sheriff's Office had conducted a search of the residence where the molestation allegedly occurred. Detectives confiscated hardcore pornographic VHS tapes and DVDS. An audio tape was played of the CPS interview. The courtroom listened in stunned silence as the victim spoke in detail about the unspeakable acts that were transpiring in her life.
Detective Christopher Lima took the witness stand and was questioned by the prosecution. Assisting Prosecutor, Joe Martin, presented evidence piece by piece to the jury. Martin had Lima open up sealed packages containing the evidence of VHS tapes, DVDs, underwear, sofa and bed covering with forensic evidence, and even a vibrator (the child spoke about the vibrator in the interview).
Price's defense attorney argued that Price never molested the victim, but rather the victim didn't like her step dad. Price's lawyer admitted to the jury that Price did in fact watch porn videos in front of the alleged victim, and that the victim is using what she saw on the porn videos as a false story that Price did those things to her (as a way to get Price out of her life).