On April 18, 2019, a Young County jury handed down a 50-year sentence to Jimmie Lee Hance, III after finding him guilty earlier in the day of super-aggravated sexual assault of a child less than six years of age.
The sentence came after a five-day trial which was presided over by Judge Stephen Bristow.
After entering a plea of not guilty to the indictment and opening statements by both sides, District Attorney, Dee Peavy and Assistant District Attorney, Phillip Gregory presented ten witnesses including the child victim to support its allegations against Hance.
After deliberations, the jury found Hance guilty. Since Hance elected the jury to assess punishment in the event he was found guilty, the case immediately proceeded as a punishment trial.
During the punishment trial, the State re-offered the evidence presented during the guilt/innocence phase of the trial then brought the mother and brother of the victim to testify about how Hance’s actions had affected the family as a whole and the victim specifically. After emotional pleas for a lengthy prison sentence by the State and a mitigated sentence by the Defense, the jury deliberated the issue of punishment. Shortly thereafter, they returned with a verdict of 50 years incarceration in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division.
Since the victim was under six years of age at the time Hance committed his criminal acts, he is not eligible for parole. Meaning, Hance will not be released from prison until he is approximately 80 years of age.
“Such an extraordinary sentence is reserved for extraordinarily heinous crimes,” opined Dee Peavy. “We are grateful to the jury for returning such a sentence and it is our hope that other would be sexual predators will recognize the fact that Young County juries will not tolerate abusing children.”