David Burnett Williams, 48, received five life sentences to be served consecutively for aggravated sexual assault of a child. Judge Christi Kennedy in the 114th District Court sentenced him at a hearing Monday.
His defense attorney, Brent Ratekin, said afterward Williams would be in prison for the rest of his life. Someone who is sentenced to life in Texas must serve at least 30 years before being eligible for parole, and after Williams serves a 30-year term on one charge, he must begin serving 30 years on each remaining charge, Ratekin said.
“She has lost her ability to trust,” the child's mother told David Burnett Williams in a victim impact statement at his sentencing hearing. “Your family has lost, too — a father and a brother.
But your family will move on, be strong and heal,” the woman told Williams.
Smith County Assistant District Attorney Whitney Tharpe argued on Monday for the maximum sentence, and said in court that four other children testified Williams had molested them in the past.
“We believe he deserves a life sentence,” Ms. Tharpe said.
Ratekin, said, though, “We believe five life sentences is excessive.”
The child testified in court Williams touched her inappropriately and engaged in sexual acts with her on Oct. 31, 2011. The child drew circles around body parts of both a male and female diagrams to show how the abuse occurred, saying the touching “didn't feel right,” and “felt weird.”
In her opening statements to the jury, Ms. Tharpe said the defendant abused the child when her mother, who worked nights as a certified nursing assistant, was asleep.
When the girl's mother asked her if something had happened to her, the child told her what Williams had done.
“Mom became very angry,” Ms. Tharpe said. She added that the girl stopped talking when she saw how upset her mother was.
Prosecutor Jacob Putnam served as co-counsel with Ms. Tharpe.
Ratekin told the jury to only consider the evidence they heard from the witness stand and to take into account all the evidence as they deliberated.
“It sounds bad. I won't sugarcoat it,” Ratekin said during his opening arguments Tuesday.
The mother told jurors that she did not immediately go to the authorities when the child reported the abuse and waited for one week, which she said she knew was wrong.