Clarendon– On Monday, July 30, 2012, a guilty plea resulted in the conviction and sentencing of David Joe Garner to the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for 30 years.
Luke Inman, the 100th Judicial District Attorney, was the prosecutor for the State of Texas, with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding. Garner, 51-year-old Weatherford, Texas resident, was scheduled for a jury trial beginning next Monday in Childress County. Garner pleaded guilty to one felony charge of a two-count indictment.
Garner was arrested at the Harris Hospital in Fort Worth for the sexual assault on May 6, 2011 for the offense that occurred on May 4 in Childress, Texas. After the plea, White made an allocution statement and said that she was a different person today prior to Garner savagely raping, torturing, and attempting to take her life.
“My life is forever changed,” said White. “I will live in fear for the rest of my life. I cannot even take my own children out of my house by myself.”
Garner offered White, and other Dallas-area women including one other known victim, a job in the cattle industry and then would isolate them by taking them to a motel room where he would be there alone with them, according to Inman.
“A dangerous person pleaded guilty today and will be behind bars for a long time because of these victims’ strong will and determination to make sure he got the justice he deserved,” said Inman
White was travelling with Garner for an alleged cattle transaction in Amarillo that landed her alone with Garner in Childress, Texas. The sexual assault investigation began on May 4, 2011, after the victim, Christina White, made a 911 call from an Allsup’s bathroom in Childress.
After being initially detained by the Childress Police Department on the early morning of May 5, 2011, Garner was released without being arrested. White was arrested after she received medical treatment for an active traffic warrant.
“The evidence we were able to obtain did not collaborate the story that the victim and Garner were giving our officers at the time,” said Reece Bowen, Chief of Police for the Childress Police Department. “We know Mrs. White has endured a traumatic experience and our whole department is thinking of her and her family and are glad to see this criminal case resolved in this fashion.”
After White was released from custody, she obtained a sexual assault nurse examination in Wichita Falls. Shelli Pendelton, SANE nurse in Wichita Falls, conducted the SANE examination and found trauma and collected additional evidence.
“This defendant is a conman, plain and simple,” said Inman. “He told lies to Christina [White] and her husband Josh [White]. He told the same lies to several other victims that had to endure his heinous crimes against them that Christina went through. He was even able to con his way out of getting arrested on the night the sexual assault took place. This unfortunate incident makes you aware of the type of criminal mind that you deal with from time to time in this business.”
Josh White, Christina’s husband also made an allocution statement that shed light on his feelings towards the defendant.
“Before, David Garner, we were rebuilding our lives,” said Josh White. “He was a very charming person and I feel guilty for letting this happen because I almost lost my wife to someone that reminded me of the grandpa I never had.”
During the plea, evidence was provided by Inman that Garner knowingly and intentionally used his sexual organ to penetrate the victim’s female sexual organ without her consent.
Numerous law enforcement agencies were involved in this investigation, including Jay Foster and Antony Bradford with the Department of Public Safety Texas Rangers Division.
Bradford and Foster obtained the evidence collected by Pendleton at the SANE examination and submitted items to the DPS forensic laboratory in Lubbock, Texas which linked Garner to the sexual assault against White.
After further information was uncovered by Bradford in his investigation, as well as other law enforcement agencies including Weatherford Police Department and the Fort Worth Police Department, Bradford made the arrest on Garner for the sexual assault against White only two days after the offense.
“Fortunately this case had some very experienced Texas Rangers to assist the local law enforcement agencies involved in this serial rapist’s actions to make this such a great case that resulted in this plea of guilty today without the necessity of a jury trial,” said Inman
This trial was scheduled to go before a jury in Childress on Aug. 6.
After hearing the plea of guilty, Messer followed the recommendation from the State and sentenced Garner to 30 years for the enhanced habitual offender offense of sexual assault.