Former state representative granted modification to probation

Local News

A former state representative from Burkburnett has been granted a modification to his probation which he has been serving for killing an elderly Archer County couple in a drunk driving accident back in 2006.

Jack Connell, 80, served a two-year prison term and has been serving an additional 10-year probation term.

Connell’s attorney filed to have his probation modified by removing the requirement to wear a so-called SCRAM device, which is a portable breathalyzer with facial recognition.

According to the motion filed in 89th District Court, Connell has complied with all terms of his probation,   and in June he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

The motion says because of cancer and the cost of the device which he must share, it would be in the interest of justice to remove the device. 

In 2006, Connell was charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter after he ran a stop sign at Highway 240 west of Burkburnett and broadsided a van.

Virgil Patton, 74, and his wife Laura were killed, and Patton’s terminally ill brother Edwin was seriously injured.

Connell’s blood alcohol level was about one-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Connell has less than two years of his probation left.

Connell was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1958, as the youngest representative having just turned 21-years-old before the election.

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