Weatherford News

Fifth DWI, plea sends man to prison for 40 years

A 26-year-old Fort Worth resident, Jimmy Downs Jr., pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 years in prison for felony driving while intoxicated and bail jumping charges in a case handled in district court in Weatherford last week.

Downs, who faced trial on his fifth DWI case on Feb. 2, was considered a habitual offender because two of his prior DWI offenses were felony charges in Tarrant County, resulting in 2010 and 2011 prison sentences of two and four years, according to Parker County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain.

The case Downs was sentenced for stems from an incident in May when he was pulled over by a trooper on Interstate 20 in east Parker County after Downs began tailgating his patrol car at 1 a.m. on an early Saturday morning.

After he failed a battery of field sobriety tests, a blood sample drawn from Downs showed that his blood alcohol concentration was 0.20, or about two-and-a-half times the legal limit of 0.08. In the patrol car after his arrest, Downs told the trooper “I’m on parole and they are going to give me 25 years this time.”

“In addition to all of his prior DWI convictions, Mr. Downs also repeatedly tested positive for drug abuse in violation of his conditions of bond and jumped bond for his jury trial last November,” Swain said. “As a result of him skipping court that day, we had to send home a whole panel of jurors without them hearing a case. That led to the bail jumping charge.”

“With all five of his DWI convictions coming in rapid succession from 2007 to now, it was apparent to us that Mr. Downs was going to continue to endanger our community until he was stopped by the criminal justice system,” Swain said.

Downs will be eligible for parole when he has served a quarter of his sentence, Swain said.