On Tuesday, April 5, 2016, District Court Judge Allan Garrett sentenced Luann Penny, 53 years old, to 60 years in prison for Driving While Intoxicated in accordance with the verdict rendered by a Burnet County jury. Luann pleaded guilty to the offense but then asked that a jury assess her punishment. Driving While Intoxicated is a felony offense if the driver has two prior convictions for offenses involving the operation of vehicles when intoxicated. The jury heard evidence that Penny had been convicted of five prior such offenses which dated back to 1993. Penny was again convicted of DWI in Llano County in 2006. Penny had two convictions for DWI in McCulloch County in 1996 and 2011.
Penny was arrested following a single-vehicle accident on Mustang Drive in the city of Marble Falls on the evening of March 2, 2015. Medical records and laboratory analysis admitted into evidence at sentencing showed Penny’s blood alcohol content at more than twice the legal limit.
Assistant District Attorneys Amber Shanafelt and Peter Keim prosecuted the case for the State, and ADA Shanafelt argued for a long prison term during her closing argument. The jury agreed and assessed Penny’s punishment at 60 years in prison. District Attorney Sonny McAfee praised the jury’s verdict. McAfee said, “Many times citizens want to know what they can do to keep drunk drivers off the roadways. I believe this jury has shown exactly what needs to be done for these repeat offenders. In this case, the Marble Falls Police Department did an excellent job of getting Penny off the streets, and assisted prosecutors in ensuring she would be off the streets for a long time. This jury’s verdict will make Burnet streets safer.”
In June of 2014 a Llano County jury assessed punishment for Richard Lee Pollard for life in prison for Driving While Intoxicated and in July of that same year a Burnet County jury determined that Terry Lynn Stevens should also be sentenced to life for Driving While Intoxicated.