Amarillo, TX - Four Dallam County men were sentenced to a total of 129 years in prison after waiving their right to a jury trial. Each man asked to have their case decided by Ron Enns, the judge of the 69th district.
Torrey Spaulding, Allyn Doyle, Joshua Morris and David Bridgman each were arrested for property crimes. According to the district attorney, each were repeat offenders and had criminal histories, which factored into the judges ruling on the amount of years in prison each would serve.
Spaulding, 33, was charged with burglary of habitation and escape.
A trial was held earlier this year in front of Judge Enns in which Spaulding was found guilty of both offenses.
Because of his prior criminal history, he was classified as a habitual offender, with a punishment range of 25 years to life.
Spaulding was sentenced to 40 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on each case.
Doyle, 37, was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by attempting to run over a member of his family with a motor vehicle.
Doyle, who had a prior felony conviction for burglary of a habitation and was facing 5 to 99 years in prison, was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Morris, 31, was had previously been convicted of delivery of a controlled substance in Dallam County in 2005, was convicted of burglary of a habitation and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Bridgman, 43, was found guilty of one count of theft of property and one count of possession of a controlled substance.
Like the three other defendants, Bridgman also had previous criminal history that enhanced his punishment range so that he was facing 2 to 20 years in prison.
Bridgman was sentenced to 7 years on each charge.
In the state of Texas, a defendant has the right to choose whether to have a judge or jury determine his case.
District Attorney, David Green, said choosing one or the other is based off a trial strategy, and can sometimes be risky. Green said decisions have to be made, and sometimes they are good and other times they are bad.
He said in this case all of these defendants could have been assessed more time by a jury, so it is difficult to determine if it was a bad decision.
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