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Hampton sentenced

56-year-old John Harvey Hampton was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday afternoon for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. That is the maximum sentence under enhancement options based on the defendant’s prior felony convictions. John Hampton was found not-guilty on a separate charge of Assault on a Public Official, specifically 253rd District Judge Chap Cain. Jury selection in that trial began Monday in the 75th District Court of Judge Mark Morefield. During the three-day trial, Judge Cain was called to the stand to testify regarding the charge of Assault on a Public Official. Back in October 2016, Judge Cain said he got a call from his son-in-law who was bow hunting on property Chap Cain owns behind the Liberty Police Department and Walmart. The son-in-law told Cain of a trespasser in a truck. Judge Cain testified he rushed to the property and confronted the trespasser, identified as John Hampton. The judge testified he held the defendant on the ground at gunpoint while his son-in-law went to meet police at the property’s gate. While his son-in-law was away, Judge Cain said John Hampton attempted to wrestle away the gun and scratched the judge’s thumb, causing pain. During the trial, John Hampton pleaded guilty to Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. That truck had been stolen from a business adjacent to Judge Cain’s property. However, he pleaded not-guilty to assault. After deliberating, the jury in the 75th District Court found John Hampton guilty of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and not-guilty of Assault on a Public Servant. During the punishment phase, prosecutors presented evidence of past misdemeanor and felony convictions dating back to 1978. Those past crimes include burglary, assault, theft and forgery. That criminal history allowed sentencing under enhanced punishment guidelines of 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. After a short deliberation, the jury in the 75th District Court sentenced John Harvey Hampton to the maximum of 20 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and a fine of $10,000. With what’s called good time, the convicted felon must serve a minimum of 25 percent of that sentence for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.

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