Man takes last-minute plea deal for 25-year sentence in drug case

Staff Writer
Brownwood Bulletin

Twenty-eight-year-old Chris Lavender of Comanche, already serving a five-year prison sentence in a Tarrant County drug case, took a deal Tuesday morning for a 25-year prison sentence in a Brownwood case.

    Lavender was minutes away from facing a 35th District Court jury when he agreed to plead guilty to possessing with intent to deliver 27 grams of methamphetamine in a drug free zone.

    District Judge Steve Ellis approved the plea bargain negotiated between prosecutor Christina Nelson and defense attorney Jimmy Stewart of San Angelo and assessed the sentence.

    As part of the plea bargain, Nelson agreed not to prosecute Lavender for possessing child pornography on his phone.

    Lavender was arrested with his girlfriend, Lindsey Laminack, in April 2015. Laminack, 24, who had no previous criminal history, was placed Friday on 10 years deferred adjudication, Nelson said.

    Lavender has a lengthy criminal history, Nelson said. “In his 28 years, he’s been arrested 13 times,” she said.

    Sheriff’s narcotics detective Carlyle Gover arrested Lavender and  Laminack on April 26, 2015, while conducting surveillance on a wanted person’s home in Brownwood, sheriff’s officials said earlier.

    Gover said he was watching a home in the 2300 block of Fourth when a vehicle driven by Lavender stopped nearby. A woman, identified as Laminack, got out and hid a container with methamphetamine in the bushes outside the home, Gover said.

    Over arrested Lavender and Laminack, and Lavender bonded out of jail the next day, Nelson said. Five days later — on May 1, 2015 — Lavender was arrested in Tarrant County on a drug charge. Lavender pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in prison, she said.

    Lavender has previous convictions on charges including forgery and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Nelson said.