Friday, August 7, 2009

Head-on to prison

Good job Steve Harkins.

Thank God no one was killed in the accident. I got to visit with Holly and buy her an ice cream cone during the trial. She is a sweet little girl, all the best to her and her family.

Man sentenced to 35 years for head-on crash


District Judge Dib Waldrip sentenced Ken Clark Hussman Jr. to 35 years, 5 months and 29 days in prison with no chance of parole Thursday for felony DWI and use of a deadly weapon — in this case his pickup.

A Comal County jury found Hussman guilty Wednesday of driving head-on into another vehicle on May 29, 2008.

The 44-year-old Hussman had an extensive record of criminal activity prior to this week’s conviction.

Lampasas District Attorney Larry W. Allison was brought in to testify on his long history with Hussman. From 1982 until 1994, Hussman was in and out of jail in Lampasas until being sentenced with a felony DWI by Allison, and sentenced to 25 years.

He served 12 years of that term. Multiple charges were brought up in order to enhance his sentence, ranging from DWI to burglary of vehicles, habitations and businesses.

“I had a long career with Mr. Hussman,” said Allison. “He had his chances to improve himself (on probation).”

“He wore us out in Lampasas. I wouldn’t want him driving our streets and highways,” he said.

Defense Attorney Deborah Wigington brought in Hussman’s aunt to testify to both Hussman’s character and the long history of alcoholism in his family, on both sides. She said he was a stellar father and his daughter is closest to him. She does not believe he was drinking the day of the crash, and if he was, it was non-alcoholic beer.

In arguing her case for leniency, Wigington asked the Judge to “think of the day he could walk his daughter down the isle.”

“Over his criminal career,” argued District Attorney Steven Harkins, “Mr. Hussman (has accumulated) 103 years worth of charges ... Every time he was driving he was in a deadly weapon.” The prosecution asked for 99 years.

In addressing the circumstances of the case, Judge Waldrip noted “It is my belief that ... without these citizens of action that came forward, that the result of the investigation of the law enforcement alone might have changed this case. Mr. Hussman it is unfortunate that you are addicted to alcohol. And their is no sentence that can cure you.”

“It is my duty to ensure that you will not drink and drive any longer,” he said.

According to Judge Waldrip, the 35 years was to represent the different ages of one of the victims at the time of the accident, Holly Matt, who was three years old, and Hussman’s daughter. The 5 months and 29 days was to represent the date of the incident, May 29.