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Special to The Sun—
CHILDRESS – On Tuesday, July 21, one contested hearing took place in the 100th Judicial District Courtroom at the Childress County Courthouse.
District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District Luke Inman along with Assistant DA Harley Caudle prosecuted the case for the State of Texas with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding.
Mitchell Dante Mathis, 30 from Childress, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ for the first-degree felony offense of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit a felony. Childress County deputies arrested him for the offense on April 5, 2018.
Mathis was originally placed on community supervision when he pleaded guilty on Dec. 2, 2019. He was placed on six years of deferred adjudication. The State filed its motion to adjudicate on Feb. 12, alleging three violations of community supervision. Mathis pleaded not true to all of the allegations.
The State called three witnesses, Mark White, Meghan Gribble and Ashley Franco, during its case in chief. White and Gribble, the probation officers responsible for Mathis’ supervision while on probation, testified regarding his failure to abide by certain conditions of his probation.
With regard to whether Mathis should be allowed to remain on probation, Gribble testified the defendant has had since 2018 to start and complete a program to address his anger issues, but he failed to do so. She added, “What he has done is continue to victimize innocent women and remain a risk to society. That is why he should not remain on probation.”
Franco testified regarding a new criminal offense committed by Mathis during the time he was on probation. After hearing the evidence, Messer found Mathis had violated the terms of his community supervision, fully and finally convicted him of the first-degree felony offense of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit a felony and sentenced him to 20 years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ.
“Abusing women is a crime we don’t take likely around here,” said Messer. In addition to the prison sentence, Mathis was ordered to pay a $6,000 fine to Childress County and $269 in court costs.
At this time, Mathis also faces a new third-degree felony charge of assault family violence, enhanced, arising out of an incident alleged to have occurred after Mathis was first placed on probation. If he is ultimately convicted on the new charge, it is possible any sentence for the new case could run consecutively to Mathis’ current 20-year sentence.