|Trinity Standard - Local News
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McFarland given 10-yrs. probation
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – After convicting him on intoxication manslaughter charges earlier in the day, a Trinity County jury sentenced Frank McFarland of Trinity to 10 years probation last week. McFarland, 32, was convicted of causing the death of Gregory Wayne Grider, 42, during a two-vehicle collison on Dec. 2, 2010. The trial got underway with jury selection on Monday, Dec. 12, before 411th District Judge Robert Trapp in Groveton. Testimony in the guilt/innocence phase of the trial lasted about a day and a half and the jury deliberated for about four hours on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning before finding McFarland guilty. After hearing additional character evidence during the punishment phase of the trial, the jury deliberated for about two more hours before returning the probated sentence. According to Assistant District Attorney Bennie Schiro, McFarland will have to serve 120 days in the county jail and perform 240 hours of community service as part of the probated jail sentence. He also will be required to use and interdiction device that will not let him start his vehicle if he has been drinking alcohol. The judge also ordered that McFarland take two classes -- one dealing with the dangers of driving while intoxicated and an anger management course. “I was very disappointed with the verdict,” Schiro said after the trial. He noted that while he didn’t asked the jury to impose a specific amount of jail time, he did ask that they not grant probation in this case. Schiro said he spoke with some of the jury members afterwards and was told that while some members of the panel argued against granting probation during the beginning of their deliberations, they were in the minority. The assistant DA said during testimony the jury was told that McFarland had a history of drinking and driving and had four prior public intoxication convictions. Members of his family also told the jury that since the 2010 accident that claimed Grider’s life, he has not touched alcohol. The accident occurred at about 11:15 p.m. on Highway 19 in front of Grider’s residence as he and his wife, Missy Grider, were returning home. Grider was traveling north on Highway 19 and was attempting to make a left turn into his driveway. A pickup driven by McFarland was traveling at a high rate of speed when it crashed into the driver’s side area of Grider’s pickup. Evidence indicated that McFarland, who also was traveling north, came around a curve and was attempting to pass the Grider vehicle. Although Grider showed some signs of life when rescuers first arrived on scene, when they were able to free him from the twisted wreckage he was pronounced dead. His wife sustained minor injuries and was treated at East Texas Medical Center-Trinity. The crash occurred near Martin’s 7-11, which Grider operated along with his father, Martin Grider.