Escaped kitty killer sentenced to 25 years

BONHAM, TX – Jimmy Lee Brock, the man who escaped from the Fannin County Jail on February 21, 2012, pleaded guilty Thursday in the 336th District Court of Fannin County, Texas, to the offenses of Evading Arrest/Detention, Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals: Torture, Escape While Arrested/Confined Felony, Burglary of a Building, and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

Mr. Brock’s troubles began on November 11, 2011, when after an alcohol fueled argument with his girlfriend he picked up her kitten and broke its neck. When his girlfriend called law enforcement and reported the crime, Brock hid in a crawl space in his attic. Savoy Police Officers and Fannin County Deputies had to employ pepper spray to arrest Brock.

Brock was booked in to the Fannin County Jail for the misdemeanor offenses of Evading Arrest/Detention and Cruelty to Animals. Normally the offense of Cruelty to Animals is a misdemeanor unless the state can establish the animal in question was tortured or killed in a cruel manner. District Attorney Richard Glaser stated, “We enhanced the Cruelty to Animals case to a State Jail Felony because our office felt that breaking a kitten’s neck with your hands was cruel.” A “State Jail Felony” is normally punishable by confinement in the state jail division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) for a period of time not less than 180 days and not greater than 2 years but due to Brock’s extensive criminal history the state was able to seek an enhanced punishment of 2 to 20 years incarceration in TDCJ. Brock had previously been convicted of the felony offenses of Theft in 1983, Burglary of a Motor Vehicle in 1986, Burglary of a Habitation in 1988, Burglary of a Building in 1991, and Robbery in 1994. In the 94 Robbery, Mr. Brock was sentenced to 50 years incarceration in TDCJ of which he served 17 years until his was paroled in 2010.

Mr. Brock appeared in the 336th District Court on February 17, 2012, rejected the state plea offer of 5 years incarceration and the case was set for a jury trial scheduled to begin on March 26, 2012. On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, while working in Honey Grove, Texas at the Fannin County Precinct #3 Barn as part of Fannin County Jail’s Trustee Worker Program, Brock took advantage of an opportunity when the officer supervising his work left him and another inmate unattended while he went inside the barn to use the restroom. Brock stole a Precinct #3 employee’s vehicle, drove it several miles down the road, found a wooded area, and abandoned the vehicle. Brock then spent the nights of the 21st and 22nd in and around the woods between Honey Grove and Tiger Town, Texas. The temperatures dropped to below freezing the night of the 21st and Mr. Brock fell waist deep into an irrigation ditch. Brock said he was soaking wet and covered with mud. Because he was afraid he was going to die of exposure or lack of food and water on the 23rd, Brock made his way back to the Precinct #3 Barn and broke into and spent the night in a camper trailer. Early in the morning of the 24th Brock broke into the Precinct #3 Barn in hopes of finding food because he had not eaten since the morning of the 21st. The only food he could find was some old dog food. Mr. Brock ate the dog food, and stole a number of tools and a county pick-up truck, which he filled with 100 gallons of fuel. He then left Fannin County.

Brock stated that he drove to Galveston, Texas where he attempted to sell the tools he stole but due to the fact that he was wanted and his driver’s license was still in the possession of the Fannin County Sherriff he could not pawn the tools. He attempted to sell the tools to individuals on the street, but could not get what he thought was a fair offer. One individual gave him $20.00 and bought him a burrito. With the $20.00, Brock bought a pack of cigarettes and a 12 pack of beer. Brock then decided that he wanted to see his girlfriend, whose kitten he killed, so he drove from Galveston back to her place of work, Seven Oaks Nursing Home, in Bonham, Texas. When Brock arrived at the nursing home employees there notified the Bonham Police and Brock was arrested without incident. Officers found the missing pick-up and all the tools stolen from the Precinct #3 Barn inside the pick-up. Brock then lead authorities to the location of the first vehicle he stole in making his escape. No one was injured in Brock’s escape and the only loss of property was the fuel Brock used to drive to Galveston and back. Brock stated that he ran because he felt the state’s original offer of 5 years was unreasonable and unfair and that he was being punished for his past.

Brock was charged with Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Burglary of a Building, and Escape While Arrest/Confined Felony. Because of his extensive criminal records Brock was facing 2 to 20 years in the Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle and Burglary of a Building cases, and 25 to 99 years or LIFE in the Escape While Arrest/Confined Felony case. The cases could have been tried separately and the state could have sought to cumulate each sentence by stacking them on top of each other, and the remaining 33 years Brock has on parole. However, Brock waived his right to indictment in the three new cases and his rights to a trial and an appeal in all five cases and was sentenced to 1 year in the Fannin County Jail in the Evading Arrest/Detention case, 20 years confinement in the Cruelty to Non-Livestock Animals: Torture, Burglary of a Building, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, and 25 years confinement in the Escape While Arrested/Confined Felony case. His time will run concurrently on each case as well as his revocation of parole. District Attorney Richard Glaser noted that “cruelty to animal cases share some similarities to abuse of children and the elderly. The most trusting and defenseless among us should not be prey for the more powerful—especially repeat offenders—and the Fannin County Criminal District Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute these cases vigorously.”

Press Release from the Fannin County Criminal District Attorney's Office

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