Bobby Gene Martin’s brushes with law enforcement for driving drunk date to 1981. But this week, his more than 30-year streak of DWI arrests came to an abrupt end.
A Texas jury convicted the 64-year-old of his 10th drunk driving offense along with a retaliation charge for threatening to harm the arresting officer and his family. They gave him two life sentences.
The jury came back with its guilty verdict after three hours of deliberation. And throughout the proceedings, the jury had no idea that Martin had already been arrested nine other times for drunk driving. The jurors only knew that this was at least his third.
“You could see they were actually shocked that he’d had 10 DWIs and was still out and about driving around,” Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Kyle Crowl said.
Martin was also convicted of threatening to kill the arresting deputy, his wife, his children and his mother, according to the prosecutor. It also wasn’t the first time he had made such threats, Crowl noted. During a 1999 incident, Martin was accused of threatening to kill the officer who arrested him and “everything he ever loved.”
In this latest case, which occurred in August, drivers called 911 to report an accident. Martin had wrecked his truck on a road in Montgomery County, Tex. When the tow truck driver arrived, Martin tried to persuade him to simply tow the truck and take him home so that he wouldn’t be arrested for drunk driving when police arrived, according to KPRC.
By the time the officer arrived on the scene, Martin’s truck was there, but he was later found hiding in a ditch in “waist-deep water,” the station reported. His blood alcohol level was .217, two and a half times the legal limit in Texas.
During a 2009 arrest, according to the Houston Chronicle, Martin was found in a similar situation — drunk in his vehicle after having crashed:
According to the probable cause statement in the 2009 incident, Harris County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Martin passed out inside his car, which was in a ditch with the motor still running at Van Hut Lane and Green River Road. He was leaning over, across the bench seat, records state.
The deputy eventually succeeded in waking Martin up, but he fell asleep again looking for his driver’s license inside the car, according to the statement.
Martin will be 80 before he is eligible for parole, according to Crowl.