Benny Boyd

Court sentences Wells to 16 years

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Blomerth stacks sentences for indecency, possession

By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

After being held in the Caldwell County Jail for several months on allegations that he had exposed himself to a child and possessed child pornography, Lockhart resident James Archie Wells, III, will soon enter the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Crimi

nal Justice for as many as 16 years.

Wells, 49, was arrested in May after an extended investigation led to his being indicted on numerous counts of Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography. The investigation was spurred by a complaint leveled against Wells in September 2007, claiming he had exposed himself to a child in the Lockhart Technology Center.

During a brief hearing on Tuesday morning before 421st Judicial District Judge Todd Blomerth, Wells’ attorney, Douglas Behrendt of Lockhart, asked the judge to consider a more lenient sentence than the combined 20-year maximum sentence requested by Caldwell County District Attorney Trey Hicks.

“I’ve read the pre-sentencing investigation and the report from Dr. [Matthew] Ferrara, and I understand that those are not favorable to my client,” Behrendt said. “However, he has no prior criminal convictions, and we would… ask the court to give him the opportunity to rehabilitate himself.”

Behrendt noted if Blomerth decided to impose a sentence of probation rather than prison time, the judge would have the opportunity to either revoke or extend that probation if he felt Wells was not adhering to the conditions set forth by the Court. In the alternative, he said, should the judge decide to send his client to prison, he asked the terms be ordered to run concurrently, rather than consecutively.

On the other hand, First Assistant District Attorney Josh Erwin asked for a harsher penalty.

“The very nature of these cases, combined with the recommendations of the PSI and Dr. Ferrara suggests Mr. Wells should serve the maximum sentence on both counts,” Erwin said.

If Blomerth had imposed the maximum sentence, Wells could have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, 10 for Indecency with a Child by Exposure and another 10 for Possession and/or Promotion of Child Pornography.

Blomerth decided, in the end, to sentence Wells to 10 years for the indecency charge and another six for the possession charge. Additionally, he said the lesser term was to begin upon the termination of the 10-year sentence.

“While I am disappointed that he did not get the maximum sentence allowed for under the plea, I am satisfied that Mr. Wells will be off the streets for a considerable portion of his life, and then he will have to register as a sex offender,” Hicks said shortly after the sentence was announced.

As to the possibility of Wells receiving parole, Hicks said sex offenders often serve up to 90 percent of their full sentences in the custody of TDCJ.Behrendt declined to comment on the sentencing.

Federal officials have also investigated Wells’ computer activity, according to Hicks, but information as to the status of that investigation was unavailable at press time.

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