‘Habitual offender’ gets 99 years in prison for jumping bail in Central Texas
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Limestone County jury on Wednesday sentenced Marco Parks, 42, a resident of Hill County, to 99 years in prison after he was convicted of bail jumping and failure to appear in court following a May 2019 arrest.
At the time of his arrest, Limestone County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Willett conducted a traffic stop and took Parks into custody because Parks was operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and liability insurance.
After booking Parks into the Limestone County Jail, Willett discovered more than nine grams of methamphetamine in the back of his patrol vehicle.
In July of 2019, a Limestone County grand jury indicted Parks for possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence. As a result of the pandemic, Park’s trial date was reset several times. Court personnel would later testify the court system was running normally by March 2021.
In June of 2021, Parks allegedly failed to appear for his court setting and a grand jury indicted Parks for the charge of bail jumping and failure to appear. According to the Texas Penal Code, a person commits the offence of bail jumping and failure to appear if after a person is released from jail and the person fails to appear in court.
Officers with the Groesbeck Police Department arrested Parks 19 days after he missed court. Parks requested a jury trial and was found guilty on November 30, 2021.
Failure to appear on a felony criminal case is a third-degree felony, carrying a punishment range of two to ten years in prison.
Parks, however, was sentenced as a “habitual offender” and was subject to a sentence in prison “not less than 25 years and not more than 99 years or life.”
During the punishment phase, jurors heard testimony regarding Parks’ nine prior felony convictions. Certified copies of Parks’ prior felony convictions were also admitted into evidence.
Parks had previously been convicted in two cases of burglary of a building, felony criminal mischief, burglary of a habitation, felon in possession of a firearm, prohibited substance in a correctional facility, aggravated assault, bail jumping/failure to appear, and retaliation.
Jurors also heard testimony about the pending possession of methamphetamine case.
After retiring to deliberate, the jury returned a verdict sentencing Parks to 99 years in prison.
The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Roy DeFriend and Assistant District Attorney Jeff Janes.
“Mr. Parks is a career criminal who has been committing crimes for many years with no desire to change. I appreciate the jury’s decisions and their efforts to end his career,” Janes said.
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