Upshur County jury sentences man to 8 life terms for molesting 2 girls
GILMER, Texas (KLTV) - An Upshur County jury sentenced a 37-year-old to eight life sentences in connection with allegations that he molested two young girls.
The jury passed down eight life sentences after they found Thomas Alana Auld guilty on eight counts of indecency with a child, according to a post on the Upshur County Criminal District Attorney’s Facebook page. Testimony in the jury trial started on Wednesday.
“We are thankful that our citizens came forward willing to serve their community and once again demonstrated by their verdict and sentence that this is not a county to abuse innocent children,” District Attorney Billy Byrd said in the Facebook post. “The strong punishment should send a message to others.”
Byrd represented the state in the jury trial, and Matthew Patton served as Auld’s defense attorney, the Facebook post stated. Judge Dean Fowler presided over the trial.
During the jury trial, members of the jury heard testimony that Auld touched two juvenile girls inappropriately. One girl was 10 when the sexual abuse started, and the other was 15 when Auld touched her inappropriately.
One of the victims took the stand and told the jury what Auld did to her. She made the initial outcry to a friend, who told her mother. The friend’s mother then told the victim’s mother, the Facebook post stated.
“Since telling of her abuse, the child, like so many others, has attempted to take he own life two times,” Byrd said in the Facebook post. “She is and will remain under counselors’ and doctors’ care for a long period of time.”
In the Facebook post, Byrd explained that indecency with a child is normally a second-degree felony. He added that Auld had already served prison time for burglary of a habitation and jail time for stealing food stamps.
“The District Attorney’s Office filed a Notice To Enhance Punishment because of his prior offenses,” Byrd said.
“We are also thankful that Judge Fowler stacked the first two counts of the Indictment which means the defendant would not become eligible for Parole until he reaches the age of 97,” Byrd said.
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