D.A. Pleased With Guilty Verdict In Meth Murder Trial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/02/05 - Lufkin

D.A. Pleased With Guilty Verdict In Meth Murder Trial

by Ramonica R. Jones

It didn't take long for a Lufkin jury to decide on a life sentence for the Lees. The lead prosecutor in the case says jurors were not hasty in their decision.

Candice Alexander's murder is a shocking case. It answers a lot of questions about the world of meth, but drug dealing, child abusing parents aren't the only factors making the case unusual.

Anytime a parent kills their own child, it's something hard to forget.

District Attorney Clyde Herrington said, "The child was battered and bruised and had wounds and abrasions all over her body. She had grease and dirt all over her, which was really hard for us to understand at first, and things began to fall in place."

Herrington commends jurors for sticking through the six day trial, carefully listening to all the testimony and paying attention to the evidence.

Johnny Lee's daughter testified against him in the punishment phase. She told the jury he beat her mother almost every day, and even beat her once with a 2x4 when she ran away from home.

"When we came to the punishment phase, there really wasn't that much additional evidence, although, the evidence that we offered was significant in punishment. The jury had lived with this case a long time, so it did not surprise me that they were able to reach a decision."

Herrington calls the case a wake up call, especially for teenagers thinking about trying meth.

"Of course, not every person that uses drugs commits violent crimes, but I really think that the effect that methamphetamine had on Becky and Johnny Lee was a big factor in their crime. I think that this case may stand for the proposition that methamphetamine is a very, very dangerous drug."

In his closing argument, Herrington called Candice Alexander a little girl desperate for her mother's love and attention. The day she died, Rebecca Lee shot her up with a deadly dose of meth, while her stepfather, Johnny Lee, held her arm.

Meth is a highly addictive drug. It's much more harmful than cocaine and even more dangerous than heroine. It can cost less than $200 to make meth, since many of the drug's ingredients are common household products.

Most meth users get hooked after using the drug only one time, and it only takes a small amount of the drug to get addicted.

Phyllis Grandgeorge of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council said, "It begins to consume their ability to feel normal or feel any pleasure. If they're not using, their world is in chaos; they are unsteady and unsure and so they spend most of their time seeking out the drug, so they can stay in the state where they are using."

Meth has many long-term side effects. Using the drug causes liver damage and fatal kidney and lung disorders. Meth users often end up with brain damage, rotten teeth, and permanent psychological problems.

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