|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Sex offender’s house seized by authorities
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – The former home of recently convicted sex offender, Jeffie Melder, 34, was forfeited to the Groveton Police Department and Trinity County District Attorney's Office October 30, 2012. Judge Robert H. Trapp of the 411th Judicial District Court signed a judgment forfeiting the house to the two agencies. Under Texas law, “property of any nature, including real property used in the commission of any first or second degree felony is defined as contraband and may be seized from the offender and forfeited to be used for law enforcement purposes. In this case, the house was used in the commission of two first-degree felonies and was “seized” by law enforcement. A lawsuit was filed by the state within 30 days for forfeiture of the seized property. A Trinity County jury found Melder guilty in August on felony charges of sexual assault of a child, sexual performance by a child and indecency with a child. All three charges involved his actions with an eight-year of boy. Rather that have the jury impose his punishment, Melder exercised his right to have Trapp set his sentence on the three convictions. Following a pre-sentencing investigation conducted by the probation department, Trapp ruled on Oct. 16 that Melder would serve two 60-year and one 10-year term. Trapp also ordered that the three sentences be served consecutively rather than concurrently. In most instances when a person is convicted of more than one crime, they are allowed to serve the multiple sentences at the same time. By “stacking” the three sentences in Melder’s case, Trapp gave him what is essentially a 130-year prison term.