On Thursday, August 13, 2015, Taney County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson sentenced DONALD C. BILLINGS, d/o/b 4-13-1966, of Kirbyville, to four (4) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections – the maximum term of imprisonment – for the class D felony of driving while intoxicated. Billings was charged, convicted, and sentenced as a persistent DWI offender because he had previously pleaded guilty in two (2) prior DWI cases in Taney County. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Tiffany Yarnell prosecuted the case for the State, and a jury unanimously found Billings guilty on June 23, 2015.
The evidence at trial was that on May 4, 2013, Billings crashed a Nissan Altima into some trees after failing to negotiate a curve on Missouri Highway 76, near Delaware Road. Neither Billings, nor his passenger were seriously injured. Billings refused field sobriety tests and tried to convince the Trooper that he was not driving the vehicle. However, eye witnesses observed Billings exiting the driver’s seat of the car immediately after the crash. Billings admitted that he had been drinking, but refused to give a sample of his breath or blood to the Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper who arrested him.
The maximum punishment for the class D felony of driving while intoxicated is four (4) years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.