A Houston man with five previous drunk driving convictions has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for a 2018 drunk driving crash that killed a father of four in Harris County.
In a press release Saturday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Owen McNett, 50, was convicted of murder by a jury last month.
He ultimately elected to have his sentence determined by state District Judge Lori Chambers Gray, who moved McNett’s sentencing to November 16 after hearing from his attorney.
McNett was charged with felony murder because he caused death by committing another felony. The district attorney’s office was seeking a life sentence for McNett.
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On Wednesday, McNett was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the Feb. 9, 2018 crash that killed 54-year-old Wayne Childers. McNett was driving a Ram 1500 pickup truck when he drove through a stop sign at a three-way stop in Cypress at 40 mph, T-boning Childers from the driver’s side of his Buick Verano and killing him.
“A completely innocent father of four lost his life because this man couldn’t stop drunk driving,” Ogg said. “When repeat offenders continue to drive drunk repeatedly, it means no one is safe on our streets and highways.”
McNett was arrested at the hospital by a Harris County deputy. At that time, his blood alcohol level was 0.31, almost four times the legal limit of 0.08.
Prior to the fatal crash, McNett had a long history of drunk driving and had even served three stints in jail because of it, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
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In 1992, McNett was convicted of a DWI charge in Kimble County and placed on probation. Four years later, he was arrested in Tarrant County for his second DWI and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
In 2006, McNett was convicted of his third DWI charge in Johnson County, which resulted in a seven-year prison sentence. The following year, he was arrested in Houston for his fourth DWI and ultimately sentenced to four years in prison.
In November 2012, he was arrested by DPS troopers in McLennan County and sentenced to six years in prison, marking McNett’s fifth DWI conviction at the time.
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The 2018 accident took place while McNett was on parole for the fifth DWI conviction.
“This is a repeat offender who was on parole for drunk driving when he killed a husband and father of four,” Ogg said after McNett’s sentencing. “It was a lone crime wave on wheels, and it was only a matter of time before he killed someone.”