Speeding Driver With Three DWIs Kills Two Denton County Women and Hurts Three Others

I am angry that a man withTHREE PREVIOUS DWI CONVICTIONS caused a devasting crash on Interstate 35 in Lewisville early on Easter Sunday morning, killing Kandace Hull, a wonderful 33 year old medical scribe, and her 13 year old daughter Autumn. Tony Hull is still in the Intensive Care Unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and his two surviving children, ages 16 and 12, are being treated in Childrens Hospital.

John Barton, 29 will be arrested on two counts of murder when he is released from the county hospital, where he is being treated for some internal injuries.

If you want to feel scared while you are driving on the streets of DFW, this was Barton’s fourth DWI ! He had previously been convicted on three different dates but was allowed to be driving on our streets with a valid driver’s license!

Barton’s first conviction was in 1997, when he was only 17 years old, in Denton. He was convicted again in 2001 in Denton and was sentenced to 300 days in jail. He was convicted of felony DWI in Grapevine in 2006, was sentenced to three years in state prison, but was somehow paroled on Jan. 22, 2009 after serving only 10 months.

Barton was speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he rear ended the Argyle family’s Nissan Sentra with his Mazda. The trunk of the Nissan was hit so hard that it ended up in the passenger compartment.

I have some serious questions about what happened: Why was this habitual drunk even allowed to drive wih the “three strikes” against him? Why was he released from jail after serving less than one year of a maximum 10 year sentence? What medical treatment was provided to him while he was in jail so that when he was released, he would not keep drinking? Why did he still have a driver’s license? What was his blood alcohol content? Did his car have an interlock device? What is going on with our “criminal justice” system?!

As Mary Kardell, executive director of the North Texas affiliate of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) said, our judges and juries need to give the maximum sentence to drunken drivers. “If these people aren’t taken off the road, this will present itself again.”

Ms. Kardell pointed out that in the 2009 legislative session, lawmakers rejected proposals to require ignition-lock devices for first-time DWI offenders and to allow sobriety checkpoints.

My sincerest condolences go out to the Hull family.

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