Man Handed Two Life Sentences for Drunken Driving Murders - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Man Handed Two Life Sentences for Drunken Driving Murders

Police estimate Barton was going 134 mph at the time of the accident.



    Man Handed Two Life Sentences for Drunken Driving Murders
    John Patrick Barton

    Repeat convicted drunken driver John Patrick Barton has been sentenced to two life sentences for the murders of two women last Easter.

    Barton, 30, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of murder and three counts of intoxicated assault with a vehicle for the Lewisville traffic crash that left 33-year-old Kandace Hull and her 13-year-old daughter Autumn Caudle of Argyle dead.

    Barton faced up to life in prison for the crime and was handed two life sentences for the murders as well as 20 years and a $10,000 fine for each count of intoxicated assault.

    Records show Barton, whose plea acknowledged driving drunk during the double fatals last Easter, has three DWI convictions since 1997, including the last one in 2006. Barton was on parole at the time of the accident.

    "This is probably the first time I really feel like I've seen justice. In all the cases I've sat in on there's been very minimal sentences and so I hope it sends a message way before the fourth one, that you need to take it seriously. So it actually means a lot that we got this verdict," said MADD spokeswoman Christi Roberts.

    Investigators said even hours after the crash Barton's blood alcohol level was still three times the legal limit. He actually fell asleep during the test and had to be told he crashed and killed two people.

    Right after Barton was sentenced he turned to the family of his victims and apologized.  "I just want to once again say I'm sorry to everybody," Barton said. "I'm sorry."

    "He's always been very remorseful, from day one that I met him he's always been very remorseful, and it was really important to him to share that with them as best he could," said Barton's attorney Derek Adame.

    During the victims' impact statement Hull's family vowed to use their grief to make a change. "I am going to work tirelessly toward some legislation... to make sure Kandi and Autumn's lives weren't taken in vain," said Hull's father Glenn Griffin.

    Barton's attorney says his client could be eligible for parole again in 30 years.

    NBCDFW's Randy McIllwain contributed to this report.