Hays jury gives man 60 years as ‘habitual offender’

Wayne Allsup. PHOTO COURTESY OF HAYS COUNTY JAIL RECORDS

An Austin resident with a laundry list of prior offenses was deemed to be a “habitual offender” by a Hays County jury and sentenced to 60 years behind bars.

Wayne Allsup, 46, was convicted last week of felony possession of methamphetamine, a charge stemming from an incident on June 24, 2016 in which San Marcos Police pulled him over in traffic after a 911 caller warned of erratic and dangerous driving on Interstate 35.

Allsup, whose license to drive was suspended at the time, was found to be in possession of a gram of liquid methamphetamine as well as a syringe.

That amount of the drug would normally result in a sentence of from two to 10 years; however, during the punishment phase of the trial, testimony was allowed about his lengthy criminal history that included 10 felony convictions and two DWIs. “The felony convictions date back to 1999 and involve both vehicular crimes and crimes against persons; including unauthorized use of motor vehicle, evading arrest, failure to stop and render aid, attempted burglary of a habitation, theft from a person, and methamphetamine possession,” the office of District Attorney Wes Mau said in a press release.

The majority of his prior convictions occurred in Travis, Williamson, Galveston and Dallas counties.

Because of his record and Texas’ “habitual offender” law, the range of sentencing the jury could consider jumped to 25 to 99 years in life. Because he had twice been sent to prison, the “three strikes” rule also applied in the case.

“I think the jury in this case got it right,” Mau said. “Some people believe that they can continue to commit crime after crime and the law will not stop them. The habitual offender statutes are designed for exactly those situations where the regular punishment range is not enough to deter the person.” Prosecutors for the case, which was tried in the courtroom of visiting Senior Judge Dan Mills, were Assistant District Attorneys Ben Gillis and Erika Price.

San Marcos Daily Record

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