LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - A Polk County judge sentenced a 34-year-old Livingston woman to seven years in prison for the March 27 shooting death of her live-in boyfriend, Gervin Polite. Judge Robert Trapp handed down the sentencing on Dec. 27, 2012.
Dawn Marie Tipton was booked into the Polk County Jail later that day. She will be held there until she is transferred to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison to serve her sentence.
Lee Hon, the Polk County District Attorney, said Tipton pleaded guilty to manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony. Trapp's ruling came during a contested sentencing hearing in Polk County's 411th Judicial District Court.
Hon said both sides presented evidence about what they felt Tipton's punishment should be. Even though Hon had originally been seeking 20 years, the judge took into account the facts that Tipton and Polite, her child's father, were involved in an often-violent relationship and that she had no prior felony convictions to make his ruling.
On March 27, 2011, Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to an early morning disturbance call at Tipton's residence on Darden Rd., about five east of Livingston. When the deputies arrived on scene, they found Polite, 31, lying dead on the front porch. He had multiple gunshot wounds.
Tipton was found inside the residence. Initially, she wasn't' charged with anything. She was transported to the Polk County Sheriff's Office for questioning.
Justice of the Peace Larry Whitworth pronounced Polite at the scene, and ordered Polite's body to be transported to the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.
Both Polite and Tipton have criminal histories, with Polite's including driving while intoxicated, assaults, and drug offenses. Tipton had two previous DWI convictions.
Tipton was indicted for murder by a Polk County grand jury in June 2011. At that time, Lt. Craig Finegan of the Livingston Police Department told East Texas News that they evaluated the couple's history and ongoing family issues. The LPD worked with the Polk County DA's Office on the investigation.
Tipton was bailed out of jail by her attorney on a $25,000 bond.