Man sentenced to life in prison after most-recent DWI arrest

Galveston County

The mugshot of Lonnie Gene Kinnett.

GALVESTON, Texas - A Galveston County man was sentenced to life in prison for his conviction on a charge of driving while intoxicated.

Lonnie Gene Kinnett was found guilty by a jury Tuesday and elected for it to decide his punishment. Kinnett faced a sentence of 25 years to 99 years in prison, or life, and on Wednesday the jury chose to give him life.

On March 30, 2017, a Santa Fe police officer found Kinnett asleep in his SUV in the parking lot of Gator Jacks bar with the vehicle running. Police said multiple green beer bottles were littered around the vehicle's cab and Kinnett admitted to drinking multiple beers.

Officials said Kinnett's blood alcohol content was 0.134 on the night of his arrest.

Kinnett was previously convicted of multiple driving while intoxicated offenses, officials said. Prosecutors also said Kinnett served prison time for burglary of a habitation in 1992 and possession of a controlled substance in 1994. Kinnett also had multiple convictions for driving without insurance.

Assistant District Attorney Colton Turner argued that it was time to send a message that the community will not tolerate habitual intoxicated drivers.

Kinnett will be eligible for parole after he serves 15 years in prison.

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