Nacogdoches woman's arrest latest in series of troubles with law

Ashley Gleitsmann (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)
Ashley Gleitsmann (Source: Nacogdoches County Jail)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There are hundreds of court files in every county courthouse involving a second chance for the violator.

Ashley Nicole Gleitsmann was in jail this week after being arrested for driving while intoxicated. She's only 26, but has a rap sheet longer than some felons twice her age.

Since 2005, Gleitsmann has been in and out of jail and prison for numerous felony and misdemeanor cases. It began when Gleitsmann admitted to striking and biting a 65-year-old woman. The courts allowed Gleitsmann to go through a six-month state lockdown substance abuse program.

Assistant county attorney Stephanie Stephens can't talk about Gleitsmann's numerous cases, but she knows from experience as both a prosecutor and former defense attorney, sentencing leniency is common among substance abusers.

"It's not unusual to see those people get a second chance, even a third, sometimes a fourth chance if that's what it takes to try to fix the issue, " Stephens said.

Probation doesn't always work.

Gleitsmann received numerous rehab deals, has been in and out of jail, monitored, and has had charges reduced or even  dropped.  Eventually, multiple motions to revoke her probation were recommended. Even so, additional chances still came her way.

Some observers question if this kind of thing is a race issue.

Stephens adamantly disagrees.

"I don't think race is a factor in it," Stephens said. "I think youth is more of a factor.

Other factors include good attorney representation, a forgiving judge, and personality.

They're willing to admit they have issues. They're willing to try to get help and want help for their problems."

Meanwhile, it's argued, the rehab costs climb and the risk factor to innocent people never goes away. That's a lot to go home with each night.

"If you put someone on probation for driving while intoxicated which happens every day of the week, all over the country, and you wake up tomorrow, and that person has hit a school bus full of children or committed some other crime while they're intoxicated, you know you're going to have to look at yourself in the mirror every day," Stephens said.

In all those case files there will be some who received more chances, less chances or none at all.

"But would it be fair to say though that everybody, eventually, runs out of those chances?" Stephens said. "Absolutely. Absolutely."

Copyright 2013 KTRE. All rights reserved.