Weatherford Democrat

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September 6, 2013

With trooper suspended, Walton DWI dropped

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Parker County prosecutors won’t be pursuing a drunk driving charge against Walmart heiress Alice Louise Walton.

Parker County Attorney John Forrest said the case will be dropped because the trooper who arrested Walton on a charge of driving while intoxicated on Oct. 7, 2011, has been placed on suspension and can’t be called to testify.

“Ms. Walton is pleased that the matter has been completely and correctly resolved without charges being filed,” Walton’s attorney, Dee J. Kelly, said in a statement this week.

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeffrey M. Davis has been on paid suspension for more than five months and prosecutors have been in limbo waiting for DPS to resolve that issue, Forrest said.

The DWI case hinges on the trooper’s testimony regarding a field sobriety test, according to Forrest. He said the case came down to the credibility of the witnesses and Davis is unavailable to testify.

Davis was suspended in February pending the outcome of an internal investigation involving allegations of misconduct, DPS Press Secretary Tom Vinger said.

On Walton’s 62nd birthday, Davis stopped Walton, who was driving a silver Lexus SUV, for speeding 71 mph in a 55 mph unattended construction zone on Interstate 20 in Weatherford, according to DPS. 

Walton appeared to have a strong alcoholic beverage odor on her breath, bloodshot or glassy eyes, a staggered walk, and unsteady balance and was unable to perform field sobriety tests, Davis wrote in a probable cause affidavit.

She refused to provide a breath sample at the scene and at the jail, according to DPS.

Walton was returning home from a birthday dinner with friends at a Fort Worth restaurant when she was pulled over, Kelly said in a statement in 2011.

“She accepts full responsibility for this unfortunate incident and deeply regrets it,” Kelly said at the time.

Walton was pulled over for speeding rather than weaving or other apparent drunk driving signs and there was no blood or breath sample showing elevated levels of alcohol, Forrest noted.

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