‘Good old community policing” led to the conviction and sentencing of co-defendants in a series of auto burglary cases at Brenham hotels in this week’s session of the 21st district court.
Assistant District Attorney Eric Berg says 23-year old Andrew Sillwell and 22-year old Vanessa Gonzalez, both of Katy were caught last November when Brenham police officer David Dudenhoeffer staked out a local hotel in search of auto burglars.
Berg said Vanessa Nicole Gonzalez was sentenced to six years deferred adjudication for being the lookout for Stillwell, when he came up to a pickup truck, with burglary tools, ready to commit another auto burglary. Stillwell however, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Judge Carson Campbell also sentenced Stillwell to 180 days in a state jail for the possession of an illegal firearm.
A 20-year old former worker at the Brenham State Supported Living Center was sentenced for abusing a client at that facility. Berg said Jeffrey Wade of Hempstead was bathing a client on March 28th last year and during the bath, he continuing whipped the patient with a towel.
Berg says some old driving while intoxicated convictions caught up with a 70-year old Brenham man when he was involved in a traffic collision near Highway 290 one year ago.
Berg said that Roger Vaughn Smith had several convictions for DWI back in the 1990s but he was arrested again when he was involved in a collision in March of last year. The victim reported Smith tried to drive away from the scene but he snatched the keys from his hands. The victim told DPS troopers that it was apparent to him that Smith was intoxicated. Very intoxicated. Berg said Smith’s breath test at the scene showed he had a blood alcohol level of .34. The legal limit is .08.
Judge Carson Campbell sentenced Smith to five years probation, ordered him to pay a thousand dollar fine, become involved in a DWI intervention program, and serve two hundred hours of community service. His driver’s license was suspended for two years.
Berg said a 41-year old Montgomery man learned that every time you use a debit or credit card, there is probably a video camera catching the transactions. Berg said Mathew Voelker was caught when a woman said her bank notified her of several transactions she did not know about. One of those transactions was when he bought a sandwich at three in the morning in November 2011.
Berg had harsh words for 22-year old Zackary Adam Dowland of Houston. Berg suggested that Dowland exhibit less than competent mental capacities when he and a few others were caught trying to steal a boat near Lake Somerville in the pre-dawn hours of May 28th last year. A Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed the men were having some trouble towing a boat and offered to help. They all seemed very nervous and after questioning determined the boat was stolen.
Judge Campbell sentenced Dowland to two years deferred adjudication probation for the theft of up to $20,000.