Drunk Driver Sentenced to 30 years for killing Parkland Doctor by Dallas County Jury


On Monday, September 12, 2011, a Dallas County Jury sentenced Justin Heaton to 30 years in prison for the death of Dr. Gary Purdue. Earlier in the day, the same jury had found Mr. Heaton guilty of intoxicated manslaughter. Dr. Purdue was killed on October 4, 2010 when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a vehicle driven by Mr. Heaton after Mr. Heaton had run a stop sign.

Dr. Purdue was a renowned burn doctor that practiced at Parkland Memorial. Mr. Heaton, a personal trainer, was alleged to have had a blood alcohol level of .17 at the time of the accident according to testimony.

Due to a prior drug conviction in Denton County, Mr. Heaton was facing up to life in prison. Following the jury’s verdict, he will be eligible for parole in 15 years.

The trial was presided of by District Judge Robert Burns. The Government was represented by Stephanie Fargo and Becky Dodds. Mr. Heaton was represented by Lisa Fox and Janet Traylor.


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