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Henderson County judge sentences man who shot at multiple homes to 10 years

James Ashton (Source: Henderson County District Attorney Facebook page)
James Ashton (Source: Henderson County District Attorney Facebook page)(KLTV Staff)
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 12:04 PM CST
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ATHENS, Texas (KLTV) - A Henderson County judge sentenced a Eustace man who shot at multiple homes and properties over a period of several weeks in August and September of 2020 to 10 years in prison.

“I am proud of the work that the Sheriff’s Office did in this case,” said District Attorney Jenny Palmer. “We were able to work together to make sure that our community is safer and that justice has been served.”

James Dennis Ashton, 67, pleaded guilty to a felony deadly conduct – discharge of a firearm charge during a plea hearing in Judge Mark Calhoon’s 3rd Judicial District Court on Nov. 17, according to a post on the Henderson County District Attorney Facebook page.

After his plea, Ashton asked the judge to decide on his punishment. The state argued for the maximum sentence of 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system, and Ashton asked the court to give him probation.

According to the Facebook post, Calhoon heard from a victim ad Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Investigator William Thornton.

“Investigator Thornton testified that over a period of several weeks in August and September 2020, several victims reported shots being fired at their home or property,” the Facebook post stated.

On September 6, 2020, HCSO deputies were dispatched out to check out a report of shots fired at a home around 1 a.m. The deputies located bullet holes and a bullet in the home, the Facebook post stated.

When HCSO deputies located Ashton later, they found more than a dozen guns in his vehicle.

“Ballistics confirmed that one weapon in the possession of the defendant fired the shots at the home,” the Facebook post stated. “The defendant later confessed to Investigator Thornton to firing the shots from his vehicle on the road.”

The judge also heard from one of the victims, who testified to being woken up at 1:10 a.m. to shots fired at the home. Both Ashton and the victim told the judge that although they lived in the same area, they had never met each other before the shooting incident occurred.

Calhoon also heard about Ashton’s criminal history, which includes felony stalking, felony drug possession, and prior weapons convictions, the Facebook post stated.

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