State Budget Cuts Could Hit Texas Prison DWI Programs

Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010  |  Updated 8:45 AM CDT
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State Budget Cuts Could Hit Texas Prison DWI Programs

John Patrick Barton

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Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairman John Whitmire has reviewed the case of John Patrick Barton after learning of a wreck that left two people dead.

The Houston legislator says he was dismayed that Barton "skated" while in prison, incarcerated twice and not receiving treatment for alcohol addiction.

Whitmire raised concerns Tuesday that prison treatment programs could be cut as Texas faces a projected budget shortfall as high as $15 billion.

Barton was on parole after his third drunken-driving conviction when, authorities say, his vehicle hit a car Sunday in Lewisville. The crash killed Kandace Hull and her 13-year-old daughter, Autumn Caudle.

Barton, who initially was arrested for intoxication manslaughter, faces two murder counts and was in the Lewisville city jail Wednesday.

Gov. Rick Perry had ordered state agencies to identify possible 5 percent budget cuts. The prison system is seeking an exemption for treatment programs.

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