Thursday, August 6, 2009

Guilty of DWI

Good job Mr. Harkins.

I believe the DPS Troopers last name is Hackworth not Hawkins.

Man convicted of DWI, use of deadly weapon


Comal County jurors convicted Ken Clark Hussman Jr. Wednesday of felony driving while intoxicated and use of a deadly weapon, namely his pickup.

The jury deliberated a little more than two hours to find Hussman guilty of running head-on into a 2000 Chrysler Concord on May 29, 2008, on Farm-to-Market 306 near Yogi Bear's Jellystone Camp and Resort.

Kenneth Matt of San Antonio was traveling in the Concord with his daughter, Holly, who was 3 at the time.

After the crash, witnesses said, Hussman fled the scene, made “doughnuts” in a field and sped away, nearly clipping a patrol car. He fled to Dog’s Best Friends Grooming at Canyon Lake, where his wife was employed.

Assistant District Attorney Steven Harkins asked the jury to consider Hussman’s abnormal behavior to determine whether he was intoxicated.

“This was not an accident.... someone got rammed into at a high rate of speed... and he didn’t show a modicum of concern,” Harkins said.

Also incriminating was Hussman’s original claim to have hit a deer and earlier witness testimony referred to by the prosecution that, while no one smelled alcohol, he “acted drunk," the prosecutor argued.

“You have the right, ladies and gentlemen, to protect your community.” Harkins said. “We can’t allow this in our community.”

Defense attorney Deborah Wigington decried the lack of evidence proving Hussman's intoxication.

“Not a single piece of evidence was brought up,” she said.

Prosecutors did not present pictures of the crime scene, medical screening or notes to prove Hussman was legally intoxicated, she said.

“He could have brought you evidence if it existed,” she said.

Comal County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Coons responded to the accident scene, followed by Department of Public Safety Trooper Demond Hawkins.

Hawkins administered various field sobriety tests; however because of Hussman's medical conditions, those test results were not admissible as evidence. Hussman declined a breathalyzer, and Hawkins failed to administer or order a blood sample, the defense attorney said.

Hawkins was the only person involved who claimed to smell alcohol on the breath of Hussman, Wigington said.

In previous testimony, according to the defense, Hawkins agreed that he gave tests that were invalid.

“Innocent people refuse breath tests... (Hawkins) was at the hospital. He could have issued a blood test,” she said.

Two and a half months passed before Hawkins produced a report on the incident, Wigington said.

Previously, Hussman received a DWI conviction in Lampasas in 1984 and another in Bexar County in 1990. Two or more DWI convictions enhance later charges to felony status.

His sentencing is today at 1:30 p.m.