Denison man sentenced to 75 years in prison for felony DWI and Intoxication Manslaughter

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DENISON, TX -- A Denison man was sentenced today to 45 years in prison for his seventh Driving While Intoxicated conviction and 30 years for Intoxication Manslaughter.

Last July, Betty Ann Robison, died from head injuries she sustained after she fell off a moving vehicle driven by her boyfriend, Eric Pendleton.

On Thursday, as part of a plea agreement in the case, Pendleton was sentenced for his seventh DWI conviction and also for Intoxication Manslaughter.

Grayson County Assistant District Attorney, Brett Smith, says Pendleton was on parole for another felony DWI, and had a blood alcohol content of .244 at the time of the accident.

"They found Mr. Pendleton on the scene with an odor of alcohol about his person," Smith said. "Mr. Pendleton had originally lied to police and told them the victim had been driving the car, put the car on cruise control, and he held the steering wheel while she got on the sun roof and was car surfing, if you will."

Lieutenant Mike Eppler with the Denison Police Department says Pendleton originally claimed he was not driving, but surveillance video and other evidence proved that was he was behind the wheel..

"Him stating that his girlfriend was driving, position of the vehicle, position of the people, just different things on scene were not adding up with him not driving the vehicle," Eppler said.

He says Denison Police handle too many DWI cases, but Smith hopes the punishment in this case will prevent other people from drinking and driving and save lives.

"I'm hoping this will deter Mr. Pendleton from driving while intoxicated again and hope it sends a message to the community that we will vigorously pursue and prosecute repeat DWI offenders," Smith said.

Smith says Pendleton's two sentences will be served concurrently and Pendleton will be eligible for parole after 15 years.

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