Breckenridge Texan

District Court’s ‘rocket docket’ handles 63 felony cases in two days

District Court’s ‘rocket docket’ handles 63 felony cases in two days
March 13
19:41 2019

A couple of weeks ago, the 90th Judicial District Court held a “rocket docket,” two days of court in Young and Stephens counties during which time many local cases were dealt with quickly.

On Feb. 26 and 28, prosecutors for the District Attorney’s office as well as defense counsel representing the counties’ felony defendants negotiated various cases before the court. At the end of the two days, 63 felony cases were disposed of in varying ways ranging from 40 years in the penitentiary to probations.

Most significant of the cases were those of Danyul Paul Hamilton, age 26, of Breckenridge, and Patrick Allen, age 39, of Graham, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Hamilton pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight years of incarceration in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Division, for Indecency with a Child during the Stephens County portion of the rocket docket. He will have to serve 50 percent of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Allen, who entered a plea of guilty in the District Court in Young County, received 40 years in TDCJ for each of the two cases of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child pending against him. According to District Attorney Dee Peavy, Allen will, “have to serve 50 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. This will make him almost 60 years old before he can begin the process of seeking parole.”

Hamilton and Allen’s cases were pleaded after consultation with the respective victims’ families.

The rocket docket, implemented a couple of years ago by Judge Bristow of the 90th Judicial District Court, is a valuable tool for bringing opposing counsel together in an effort to dispose of cases without the requirement of a trial, according to the District Attorney’s office. The process preserves limited funds for use elsewhere while serving the interests of justice.

Additionally, the DA’s office recently released the following list of cases that were pleaded in December:

  • Kathryn Marisha Pittman, 43, Breckenridge: Pleaded true to the allegations in the State’s Motion to Revoke Community Supervision for the offense of Prohibited Substance in Correctional Facility – Marijuana and was sentenced to 2 years confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division, and to pay $750 fine and court costs; and pleaded true to the allegations in the State’s Motion Revoke Community Supervision for the offense of Theft of Material – Aluminum Less Than $20,000 and was sentenced to 18 months confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – State Jail Division and to pay remaining court costs.
  • Donald Blaine Sasser, 40, Albany: pleaded true to the allegations in the State’s Motion to Adjudicate Community Supervision for the offense of Possession of Controlled Substance Less Than 1 Gram – Methamphetamine and was sentenced to 12 months confinement in TDCJ-SJ, and to pay court costs.
  • Clifford Lloyd Carter, 48, Breckenridge: Pleaded guilty to the offense of Forgery Government/National Instrument/Money/Security and was sentenced to 10 years community supervision, and to pay $1,000 fine and court costs.
  • Eithan Max Collins, 18, Breckenridge: Pleaded guilty to the offense of Burglary of Habitation and was sentenced to 3 years community supervision and to pay $1,500 fine and court costs.
  • Joseph Richard Lindley, 40, Breckenridge: Pleaded guilty to the offense of Theft of Material – Copper, Less Than $20,000 and was sentenced to 3 years community supervision and to pay $500 fine, restitution, and court costs.

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