Zavalla man gets life in prison for delivery of meth

Zavalla man gets life in prison for delivery of meth

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Richard Woods, 36, of Zavalla, was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for transporting 140 grams of meth from Houston to Zavalla last December.

Assistant District Attorney George Napier said the charge was enhanced by Judge Claudia Laird because of his previous run-ins in Angelina County.

Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches said he is not surprised Woods was given a life sentence.

"He's had a long history of getting in trouble and now it has finally caught up with him," Sanches said.

Woods was found guilty on Tuesday by a jury, but asked before the trial to be sentenced by the judge.

"I guess the jury did not buy our argument that the initial stop of the vehicle was actually illegal,"said Woods attorney, Willis Smith. "We went to the judge for punishment, hoping for a little leniency, because sometimes judges are a little more lenient than the jury. I guess the judge thought that the totality of the circumstances and the affect on the community that 99 years was appropriate in this case."

Smith said Woods does plan on appealing the decision.

Napier said that this ruling shows that Montgomery County took Woods seriously with his past doings.

“Anyone he has ever affected, it was in a negative way,”Napier said. “He was building up a drug empire. He was not a small-time dealer.”

Woods has been in trouble with the law back to 1995.

Some of his past crimes include burglary of habitation, aggravated sexual assault of a child, failure to register as a sex offender, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Napier also pointed out that Woods  is accused of shooting out the window of a constable's car during a chase.

Sanches said there are three pending cases in Angelina County against Woods. 

"The DA's office could still go after him on those cases or they could throw them out," Sanches said. "It is really up to them to decide."

Napier said that even though the charge is for 99 years, Woods could file for parole after 15 years.

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