Judge Bob Brotherton today sentenced Holly Marie Wooton, 33, to the maximum sentence of two years in a Texas state jail facility after she pled guilty to driving intoxicated with children in her van in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Several witnesses testified to seeing Wooton at West Foundation Elementary School asleep at the wheel on May 16, 2012 in her van.
When she was awakened by a concerned person, she drove away to Cunningham Elementary School to pick up another child.
A mother of one of the children blocked Wooton as she tried to leave Cunningham. The mother then took her keys. She also rescued the children passengers from the van, according to testimony at the bench trial in Judge Brotherton's 30th District Courtroom.
Wichita Falls Police Department Officer Justin Miller testified to Brotherton that Wooton said, "I'm guilty. I'm drunk. Just take me away."
Other testimony revealed that on May 16, 2012, Wooton left her house with three children as passengers in her van. The children were ages 3 years, l year 11 months and 1 year 10 months. Wooten was the owner of a day care center at the time.
She admitted to smoking marijuana that day. She said she also drank two 24 ounce beers.
Officer Miller told Judge Brotherton that Wooton was "fallling down drunk" during the course of the punishment hearing.
Wooton had prior convictions from Colorado for burglary of a building and for possession of a dangerous drug. With those felonies, she would not be eligible for probation from a jury, but a judge would still have the discretion to assess probation.
The defense requested probation.
Judge Brotherton instead decided to go with a two year prison sentence which is the maximum the law allows in this type of case in Texas.
Wooton expressed regret for her actions that fateful day as she said she should have called the parents and told them she couldn't watch their children that day.
She also admitted that alcohol controlled her life and admitted to being an alcoholic, according to an article in today's Wichita Falls Times Record News newspaper.
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