A Houston man with five prior drunk driving convictions was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a 2018 drunk driving accident that killed a father of four in Harris County.
In a news release Saturday, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Owen McNett, 50, was convicted by a jury last month of felony murder.
Ultimately, he chose to have his punishment determined by State District Judge Lori Chambers Gray, who moved McNett’s sentence to November 16 after hearing from his defense attorney.
McNett was charged with felony manslaughter because he caused a death while committing another felony. The prosecutor’s office was seeking a life sentence for McNett.
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On Wednesday, McNett was sentenced to 35 years in prison for the February 9, 2018 crash that killed 54-year-old Wayne Childers. McNett was driving a Ram 1500 pickup when he ran a stop sign at a three-way stop in Cypress at 40 mph, he struck Childers in the driver’s side of his Buick Verano, killing him.
“A completely innocent father of four lost his life because this man couldn’t stop drinking and driving,” Ogg said. “When repeat offenders continue to drive drunk over and over again, it means no one is safe on our streets and highways.”
McNett was arrested at the hospital by a Harris County officer. At the time, his blood alcohol level was .31, which is almost four times the legal limit of .08.
Before the fatal crash, McNett had a long history of driving under the influence and even served three seasons in prison for it, according to the Harris County prosecutor’s office.
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In 1992, McNett was convicted of a DWI charge in Kimble County and placed on probation. Four years later, he was arrested in Tarrant County for his second DWI and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
In 2006, McNett was convicted of his third Johnson County DWI charge, resulting in a seven-year prison sentence. The following year, he was arrested in Houston for his fourth DWI and ultimately sentenced to four years in prison.
In November 2012, he was arrested by DPS officers in McLennan County and sentenced to six years in prison, marking McNett’s fifth DWI conviction to that point.
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The 2018 accident took place while McNett was on probation for his fifth DWI conviction.
“This is a repeat offender who was on drunk driving probation when he killed a husband and father of four children,” Ogg said after McNett’s conviction. “It was a one-man crime wave on wheels, and it was only a matter of time until he killed someone.”