Three area men were sentenced to prison during recent proceedings of the 46th Judicial District Court sitting in Wilbarger and Hardeman counties.
Christopher Lyn Mathis, 44, of Vernon, was sentenced to six years in prison following his plea of guilty to assault family violence with previous conviction.
On September 23, 2020, Vernon police responded to a call about a woman being assaulted at a residence in Vernon. When officers arrived, they learned that Mathis had dragged the victim out to a semi-truck and then driven away. Vernon police located the truck at the Harrold truck stop. The victim informed police that she had been assaulted by Mathis.
He was represented by Todd Greenwood of Wichita Falls.
Allen Graves, Jr., 38, of Vernon, was sentenced to four years in prison for the offense of stalking. Graves was charged for events that occurred on October 29, 2021.
On that date, Graves followed the victim, his former girlfriend, on HWY 287 and then blocked her in her driveway and threatened her. He later followed her to her place of employment and then to the courthouse where she went to seek a protective order.
Graves was represented by Robert Rafuse of Wichita Falls.
In a Hardeman County case, James Shane Lockhart, 50, of Cactus, Texas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for driving while intoxicated.
On August 14, 2021, a Hardeman County sheriff’s deputy observed a vehicle make an abrupt turn and enter the parking lot of a closed business.
The driver, later identified as Lockhart, then exited the vehicle and relieved himself. When the deputy asked him what he was doing, he replied, “taking a pee.” The deputy noted that Lockhart’s speech was slurred and he smelled of alcohol. Inside the vehicle the deputy observed a full, open beer in the console as well as an 18-pack of beer in the passenger floorboard. Lockhart claimed that the open container belonged to a passenger who had just gotten out of the vehicle.
When asked how much he had to drink, Lockhart responded “more than I needed to.” The deputy obtained a blood search warrant and testing revealed that Lockhart’s blood alcohol concentration was .227, nearly three times the legal limit. He was represented by Bethany Stephens of Childress.
The cases were prosecuted by the 46th Judicial District Attorney’s office while District Judge Dan Mike Bird presided over the hearings and assessed the sentences.