|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - August 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
Burglary conviction results in 20-year term
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON -- Don Crosson of Trinity was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week after being found guilty on a burglary of a habitation charge. A Trinity County jury deliberated for about two hours on Tuesday, Aug. 10, before returning the guilty verdict in the 411th District Court in Groveton. Crosson decided to agree to a 20 years sentence instead of gambling on what the jury might give him. Because he was classified as an habitual offender, Crosson could have been sentenced to up to 99 years behind bars. Assistant District Attorney Bennie Schiro said because Crosson agreed to 20 years, the guilty verdict cannot be appealed. Schiro added he hopes this sends a clear message to other would-be criminals. “Committing a crime in Trinity County comes with serious consequences.” Pct. 1 Constable Woody Wallace was the investigating officer in the case against Crosson and testified during the trial. “For as long as I have been constable, Crosson has been a suspect in several burglaries and other crimes,” Wallace said. “It is a good day knowing the people in Lakewood Subdivision no longer have to be terrified of Crosson.” Crosson was convicted in connection with the Dec. 9, 2009, break-in reported at a residence in the Lakewood subdivision. Joe Tempel called the constable after dialing 911 to report the break in for his neighbor. Tempel said that this was just one of about 10 thefts or burglaries that he knew of in the past few months. Wallace responded to the call and found a set of footprints in the fresh soil around the new home that had been broken into. The constable followed the prints in the fresh, red clay across the street where they stopped. Talking to the resident across the street, Wallace learned that Crosson had asked permission to park his truck in front of her home the night before. Wallace, who had dealt with Crosson on several occasions, traveled to the suspect’s home, where he noticed that Crosson`s truck had the same red clay on the driver’s side floor board and red clay foot prints leading up to Crosson`s home. After knocking on Crosson`s door and identifying himself, Wallace said the suspect verbally respond and then he heard someone scrambling around in the residence. When Crosson refused to respond again to repeated requests to talk, Wallace called for backup and positioned himself behind the residence where he spotted the suspect trying to climb out a window. With the aid of Deputy Constable Rickey Hope, Wallace detained Crosson while a search warrant was obtained for the residence. In the subsequent search, the constable discovered several items reported missing from the burglary as well as a pair of shoes covered in red clay that matched the prints made outside of the burglarized residence. Crosson was then arrested for the burglary and has been in Trinity County Jail since December 2009. The jury was not able to consider the evidence obtained as a result of the search warrant because it was determined the search warrant lacked legal probable cause to justify the search of the home. “I was very happy with the jury’s decision and would like to thank them again for their service,” said Schiro who came to the Trinity County District Attorney’s office in November 2009 from Walker County District Attorney’s office. “Out of the six or seven jury trials I have had here, the jury’s have seemed to be of a different mindset than those I had in Walker and Montgomery Counties; Trinity County jurors are more of a law and order type juror in my experience.” Schiro said. “Juries like those that I have had in this county help district attorney’s feel confident taking cases to trial. “I hope this sends a message to not only criminals but those who represent them that you don’t want to take your chances with a Trinity County jury,” Schiro added. The concern of the other residents of the Lakewood subdivision was evident at the trial. Several who attended the proceedings indicated they believed Crosson had been causing trouble over a long period of time and hoped justice would be served. The Lakewood residents indicated they were satisfied with the outcome of the trial. Evidence of other thefts from the subdivision were also recovered from Crosson`s residence during the investigation. “I am very pleased with the verdict and the 20 year sentence and so are the residents of Lakewood!” Wallace concluded.