A Waco drug dealer with five prior felony convictions was sentenced to 65 years in prison Thursday.
Jurors in Waco’s 19th State District Court deliberated about 90 minutes before recommending the 65-year sentence for Donald Ray Scott Jr., who was charged as a habitual offender.
The jury convicted Scott on Wednesday of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a first-degree felony with the habitual criminal allegation.
The charges on which Scott was convicted are identical to federal charges he pleaded guilty to three years ago and was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Scott was brought back from federal prison for the three-day trial in Waco.
When Judge Ralph Strother asked Scott if there was a legal reason why he should not be sentenced, Scott said, “I just feel like that’s a harsh punishment and I feel like this is all double jeopardy. But it is what it is. I’ve been found guilty by my peers and I will accept my punishment.”
Prosecutors Barbara De Pena and Christi Hunting Horse asked Strother to “stack” Scott’s state prison sentence on his federal term, meaning he would not start serving his state term until he is released from federal custody. The judge denied the request. He ordered the sentences to be served concurrently and said he likely would have stacked them if the jury had returned a more-lenient verdict.
Scott, 36, who has felony convictions for attempted murder, tampering with physical evidence, delivery of a controlled substance and two convictions for possession of a controlled substance, must serve at least a quarter of his prison sentence before he can seek parole. Scott also has juvenile adjudications for possession of marijuana and evading arrest in a vehicle.
Waco police raided three residences on Southey Street and Tabor Street in 2013 and tied Scott to 446 grams of marijuana, 113 grams of cocaine, 44 grams of heroin, 20 grams of methamphetamine and 13 grams of miscellaneous pills, six scales and two pistols found at the locations.
De Pena and Hunting Horse asked jurors to assess a life prison term for Scott, while defense attorney David Hudson asked for 25 years, the minimum Scott could get after he was convicted as a habitual criminal. Scott rejected a 30-year offer from prosecutors before the trial started.
Trial testimony revealed Scott’s tattoos include two blazing pistols on his shoulders that are shooting out cash and a stomach tattoo featuring a masked gunman wearing a blue bandana. A gang expert testified that based on Scott’s tattoos and known associates, he has been identified as a member of the Crips gang.
Scott testified Thursday that he may be a “hustler,” but he said he is not a member of the Crips and has not been classified on state or federal prison rosters as being a member of a gang.
Testimony showed Scott shot someone five or six times when he was 16, and medical records showed the victim was paralyzed. Scott was certified to stand trial as an adult and was sentenced to nine years in prison.