A former Brownwood man with prior convictions didn’t wait around to hear the outcome of his felony DWI trial in 35th District Court, which ended Wednesday with a conviction and life sentence.
Donald Stone, 48, who was free on bond following his August 2017 arrest, traveled from Fort Worth to Brownwood and attended jury selection Monday. Stone was also present for the first day of testimony Tuesday.
Wednesday morning, Stone was a no-show in court and the trial continued without him. Jurors deliberated just minutes later Wednesday before convicting Stone, whose blood alcohol content according to testimony was .253 — more than three times the legal limit. Jurors later sentenced Stone, who was indicted as a repeat and habitual offender, to the life sentence.
Authorities learned that Stone had checked out of his hotel Tuesday morning, visited his mother in Granbury Tuesday night and told her not to come to court Wednesday, testimony showed. Stone remained at large as of Thursday afternoon.
Stone was living in Brownwood and working in construction when he was arrested for DWI on Aug. 18, 2017, according to testimony. Brownwood police detective Jared Spohn testified he was working as a patrolman when he stopped Stone for speeding.
The December 2017 session of the Brown County Grand Jury returned a felony DWI indictment which listed Stone’s previous convictions:
• June 1995 — Stone was convicted of injury to a child in Tarrant County and sentenced to eight years in prison. The case involved the death of a child and Stone was initially charged with capital murder, according to testimony Wednesday.
• June 1995 — Stone was convicted of DWI in Tarrant County.
• February 2006 — Stone was convicted of DWI in Johnson County.
• October 2009 — Stone was convicted of DWI in Johnson County.