By CHRISTIN COYNE
The woman known as the “Aledo Grinch” after being charged with stealing Christmas decorations in the Aledo area last year was sentenced to 70 years in prison by a Parker County jury Friday after being found guilty of a subsequent burglary.
Dana Lanette Brock, 44, was convicted in the 43rd District Court of burglarizing the garage of a home in the 100 block of Inglewood Drive near Aledo on May 28, taking a weed trimmer and power washer.
A homeowner caught the burglary on camera and deputies reportedly recognized the woman on the surveillance video, which gained notoriety in late 2012.
Months earlier, Brock was identified as a suspect in a series of Christmas decoration thefts in Aledo after surveillance video from one residential theft was published by area media organizations.
When deputies went to a residence in the 100 block of Rim Rock Road on May 28, where
Brock was staying, they recovered the stolen items and Brock admitted to the burglary of the garage, claiming she had been coerced, according to testimony Thursday.
Kurt Bienmueller, Brock’s boyfriend, testified that Brock was dragged out of the house by her hair in fear of her life by another man at the residence and forced to commit the burglary. However, according to a recording played for jurors, Brock told investigators that Bienmueller was in the hospital at the time of the burglary.
“The guilt-innocence phase of trial all came down to whether or not the jury believed that this other man coerced Brock into committing the burglary,” Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain said. “Under Texas law, the burden of proof for a duress justification is on the defense.”
Despite the witness called by Raul Nevarez, Brock’s defense attorney, the jury took five minutes to find Brock guilty.
“The defendant’s long criminal record played a major role in her sentence,” Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania said. “We introduced records showing that she had been convicted of solicitation of murder, two injury to a child offenses, two credit card abuse cases, two felony trespasses, two misdemeanor thefts, and numerous other non-adjudicated offenses.”
Catania and Swain introduced evidence of the Aledo Christmas decoration theft during the punishment phase of the trial, as well.
Brock must serve 15 years in prison before she will be eligible to be considered for parole.
“Since good time is part of that equation, however, there is no certainty as to how long this defendant will actually have to serve,” Swain said.
“Our sheriff’s office did an excellent job quickly developing the evidence brought to them in both of these cases,” Swain said. “We needed the help of the news media to get this defendant identified from the ‘Christmas Grinch’ theft offense, which resulted in several Crime Stoppers tips. The awareness within the sheriff’s office of the video resulted in our burglary case being solved within a few hours of it being reported.”
Long criminal history, including solicitation of murder conviction, plays into jury’s sentencing decision, prosecutor says
By CHRISTIN COYNE
- Aledo ExtrA
Water park burglar sought
Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month.
Commissioner at odds with school district's demand for land
Aledo ISD superintendent Derek Citty is moving forward with plans backed by the school board in May — plans to secure two school sites in the Morningstar subdivision, slated for the corner of Old Weatherford Road and FM Road 3225 in the City of Fort Worth’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.
An unforgettable state championship
Corey Kiser and Riley Sartain, members of Aledo High School’s state champion softball team, honored by trustees last week, are to blame for the 10-3 tattoo on the finger of their coach, Jeff Lemons.
Firefighter arrested for child sexual assault
A volunteer Hudson Oaks firefighter is in the Parker County Jail on charges he repeatedly sexually assaulted two young relatives over a several year period.
Richard Frederick Adams Sr., 62, arrested July 21, faces two charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, a first-degree felony.
Fire protection improving in Aledo
Stephen Watson, interim chief of Emergency Services District No. 1, briefed the Aledo City Council on improvements to the city’s fire protection — including the purchase of a site for a new fire station — in Thursday night’s Aledo City Council session.
Aledo ISD trustees affirm hiring policy
The Aledo ISD School Board affirmed a policy delegating the hiring of most school personnel to the administration by a 4-1 margin last week, with trustees Jay Stringer, David Tillman, Hoyt Harris and Steve Bartley voting in favor and trustee Bobby Rigues arguing that the board should retain the responsibility.
Aledo coffee shop helps support the troops
HUDSON OAKS — Wild West Splash Kingdom was the host of military members and military supporters the night of Saturday, July 19, during ‘Salute the Troops,’ sponsored by Holy Grounds Coffee and Gifts in Aledo and Ducerus College Planning.
Calendar of events
Holy Grounds Coffee & Gifts, at 108 Jearl Street, is hosting a series of outdoor movies in their parking lot at 8:30 p.m. on Saturdays through Aug. 23.
Admission is free and feature drinks are half price during the films. “The Amazing Spiderman” is Aug. 2, followed by “Tangled” on Aug. 9, “The Lego Movie” on Aug. 16 and “The Avengers” on Aug. 23.
For more information, call 817-440-7770.
A Purple Heart County
County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse.
Suspicious house fire under investigation
The Weatherford fire marshal says a fire that damaged a house and killed two puppies Wednesday night is being investigated as a suspicious fire and a suspect is in jail on unrelated charges.
- More Aledo ExtrA Headlines
- Water park burglar sought