Smith County Jury Says It Made Mistake In Dudley Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/9/06-Tyler

Smith County Jury Says It Made Mistake In Dudley Case

  We're told a Smith County jury says it made a mistake in the sentence involving a former Brownsboro teacher accused of having sex with one of his students.  Donald Dudley, 43, faced up to 20 years in prison after he was found guilty yesterday of sexual assault of a child.

  Today, the victim's family had a chance to address Dudley. "She wanted to kill herself, Mr. Dudley because of what you did.   She had to give up her social life with her friends. She never even had a first date, Mr. Dudley. No senior year, no prom, no nothing," said the victim's mother as she cried in court.

  "I know the truth and you know the truth. I can forgive you but won't forget you," said the victim's father.

  The trial came to a close Friday afternoon after jurors deliberated for three hours. But then something almost unprecedented happened.  Just minutes after the sentence, jurors say, they may have gotten it wrong. "It's so easy to make these kinds of mistakes, the language in the charge is so easy to make these kinds of mistakes. The language in the charge is not the kind of language you sit and read every day," said Bingham.

  According to Bingham, jurors thought they were sentencing Donald Dudley to 10 years in jail, then after his release, he would be on probation for five years.  But, because of a misunderstanding, Dudley was given five years probation and if he violates that, he could go to jail for 10 years. As part of the probation, Dudley is set to serve just under six months in jail.

  We spoke with Dudley's lawyer, immediately, following the sentencing. "At worse he was looking at 10 years flat in the penitentiary. That's five years' probation compared to ten years in the penitentiary.  It's a relief. It's a weight off your shoulder, obviously," said defense attorney Jeff Haas.

  Bingham says the victim's family is upset over the circumstances, but they're not upset at the jury. Bingham says he'll be watching Dudley's every step. "I tell you, he's got five years. If he violates his probation I can promise Mr. Dudley right now, you violate your probation, we're going to be filing an application to revoke and we're going to be asking the court to revoke and we're going to be asking the court to revoke that 10 year sentence so that's the message I send him," said Bingham.

  Bingham says because the state has no rights to appeal, there's nothing that can be done. Dudley was also fined $2,500 and he must register as a sex offender. Dudley has another indictment involving the same student in Smith County and he faces a charge of "indecency with a child" in Henderson County.  

Oralia Ortega reporting, ortega@kltv.com

  • NewsMore>>

  • Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Officials check lake safety for Memorial Day Weekend

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:21 PM EDT2018-05-28 02:21:10 GMT
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
    Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start of the summer boating and recreation season in East Texas, and also a critical time for game wardens to make sure everyone is being safe on the water. Swimmers and boaters crowded lake Gladewater, as the traditional recreation season begins. "We're going to be checking boats, a lot of these folks out here this is their first time on the lake, this is the first holiday so to speak of the summer," says Gregg county game warden To...More >>
  • DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    DPS investigating single-vehicle fatal crash

    Sunday, May 27 2018 10:46 AM EDT2018-05-27 14:46:22 GMT
    crashcrash

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>

    A man was killed in a one-vehicle wreck in Harrison County. According to a press release, a 2015 Dodge Ram 1500 was traveling eastbound on US-80 when the vehicle went off the south side of the roadway and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle is identified as Lawrence C. Walls, 49, of Marshall. Walls was pronounced dead at the scene by Judge Mike Smith. His body was transported to Meadowbrook Funeral Home. DPS states that the crash is under investigation. Copyright 2017 K...

    More >>
  • Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Tyler police searching for suspect accused of theft

    Saturday, May 26 2018 11:36 PM EDT2018-05-27 03:36:26 GMT

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>

    Tyler police are looking for a theft suspect.  The theft occurred Saturday at 3300 Troup Highway.  The victim is described as a 85-year-old female. According to a report, the woman was followed into the restaurant by a Hispanic male. The male suspect then allegedly stole the victim's purse after she left it unattended.  A witness alerted the woman to the theft. The victim then checked the parking lot and discovered that her vehicle had been taken. The vehi...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly