RANDY S. STEARNS, d/o/b 4-27-1964, of Hollister, entered a plea of guilty to driving while intoxicated as a chronic offender, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, in the Circuit Court of Taney County. Circuit Court Judge Tony Williams accepted Stearns’ guilty plea and sentenced Stearns to twelve (12) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, pursuant to a plea agreement between Stearns and the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office.
On May 1, 2016, Branson Police responded to a call to Stone Castle Resort, where a man had been caught allegedly trying to steal items from a maintenance shed. Police arrived and found Stearns driving a white van, trying to back out of the parking lot. The items Stearns was trying to take had been recovered, but police arrested Stearns for suspicion of burglary and driving while intoxicated. A blood draw was obtained from Stearns as part of the D.W.I. investigation, and Stearns’ blood alcohol level was determined by lab testing to have been over 0.18%.
Driving while intoxicated as a first offense is normally a class B misdemeanor, however, Stearns had at least four (4) prior alcohol-related offenses on his record. Therefore, Stearns was charged with the class B felony of driving while intoxicated, as a chronic offender. The range of punishment for this class B felony is from five (5) years to fifteen (15) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.