WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A Wichita County jury has determined the punishment of a man convicted of continuous sex crimes against a child.
Shannon Wells, 41, was found guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child and five counts of indecency with a child on Thursday, September 28, in the 89th District Court.
The jury recommended their sentence on Friday, September 29, after over an hour of deliberation.
For each of Wells’ charges, the jury recommended:
- Continuous Sexual Abuse: 40 years. The maximum is life.
- 5 counts of Indecency with a Child: 15 years total. The maximum for each charge is 20 years.
Prior to the jury’s deliberation, the prosecution, led by Wichita County Assistant District Attorney Chelsea Carlton, asked the jury to return the maximum sentence of life in prison.
Presiding Judge Charles Barnard granted the prosecutor’s request for the sentences to be stacked, bringing Wells’ total sentence to 55 years.
Wells has to serve the entirety of the 40-year-sentence and then 10 years of the indecency sentences before he will be eligible for parole.
The 18 charges Wells was on trial for were: one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, nine counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and eight counts of indecency with a child.
Prior to deliberation, the jury was told not to return a verdict on any of the nine counts of aggravated sexual assault and three of the counts of indecency with a child if they found Wells guilty on the most serious charge of continuous sexual abuse.
The jury was instructed to return verdicts on five of the indecency charges regardless of the verdict for continuous abuse.
During the trial, the victim testified she had been in an intimate relationship with Casey Chapman, who was 36 years old at the time. The victim was 12 when this relationship occurred, five years younger than the age of consent in the State of Texas.
Shannon Wells was the boyfriend of Chapman, and the victim said he demanded he be allowed to have sex with the victim when he learned of her and Chapman’s intimacy.
Chapman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison without the chance of parole in May 2023.
The court recessed after the victim gave her impact statement. Judge Charles Barnard will make his formal announcement on sentencing when court resumes at 1:30 p.m.
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