Man sentenced to 10 years for shooting at homes

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Nov. 26—James Dennis Ashton, 67, was sentenced to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for the offense of Deadly Conduct. The sentence was in regard to incidences occurring in 2020 when shots were fired at a Eustace home while the family slept inside.

District Attorney Jenny Palmer prosecuted the case with Judge Mark Calhoon presiding.

Ashton pled guilty and asked the court to assess his punishment and grant him probation. The state argued for 10 years in TDCJ.

Investigator William Thornton testified that over a period of several weeks in 2020, several victims reported shots being fired at their home or property.

Calhoon heard from the homeowner as well.

According to one of the homeowner's previous reports, they woke up to discover a hole in the wall behind the TV where a bullet had bounced off of the TV stand and landed in the corner. This was after a previous incident in June when a bullet went through two walls, a fan, a mirror and embedded into the bedroom wall. They became afraid to go to bed at night.

Deputies located holes in the home as well as a projectile.

Ashton was located with possession of more than a dozen firearms in his vehicle and later confessed to firing the shots from his vehicle on the road. Ballistics confirmed one weapon in his possession had fired the shots.

Both the defendant and the victim testified that while they lived in the same area, they had never met each other prior to this incident.

Calhoon also heard evidence about the defendant's criminal history, including a prior probation for felony stalking and felony drug possession and prior weapons convictions.

"I am proud of the work that the Sheriff's Office did in this case," Palmer said. "We were able to work together to make sure that our community is safer and that justice has been served."

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