Sherre Johnston (r) on a happier day in the Cayman Islands
Waco – County Court-At-Law Judge Vikram Deivanayagam waited a solid hour before he called the case against the fashionable matron charged with three DWI’s.
Sherre Johnston is charged in District Court with a felony burglary of a building at the home place of Sheriff Parnell McNamara; a number of other charges are pending in Williamson County, including possession of a controlled substance, unlawfully carrying a firearm, and more drunk driving charges.
She is the wife of the former Waco Fire Department Chief Jon Johnston, who now commands a station as an Assistant Fire Chief.
Former private investigator Truman Simon, once her supervisor at the Vic Feazell law firm, escorted her to court, and Mrs. Johnston signed documents for the probation clerk prior to her pre-trial hearing, as directed by her attorney, Ray Black.
The judge agreed to discuss the plea bargain arranged with prosecutors before taking up punishment at a later date.
He asked if she knows her license will be affected by the simultaneous guilty pleas to three counts of the same offense, and that to operate her vehicle, she will likely be required to have a breath-lock installed.
Then came the $64 question. Is the proffer of 180 days in jail on each of the counts to be served concurrently correct – and acceptable to her?
She said yes.
The judge accepted her pleas of guilt and set a hearing to take up punishment on January 4.
A small, die-hard gallery lingered to the end, waiting to learn what the pre-trial hearing would yield.
Private Investigator Kevin Fisk looked on with interest. He is a former arson investigator whose resignation was forced by Police and Fire Department officials after he prepared a case he sought in which he sought review in the Internal Affairs Department.
Jeff Thompson said, “I’ve got a file 2 inches thick with what she did to my Family and I.” He, too, made a point of waiting out the plea bargaining session.
Bernie Feazell, who writes a blog about the Lake Waco Triple Murders and other affairs under the pseudonym Harry Storm, said she is preparing to protest the acceptance of the pleas to misdemeanor offenses as a member of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving.)
“I asked one of the prosecutors, ‘What is wrong with you people? What is wrong with (District Attorney) Abel Reyna,'” she said in a post-hearing interview. “‘You know three of those charges is a felony.”
“She (the prosecutor) told me there are mitigating circumstances,” said Ms. Feazell.
She is the ex-wife of Vic Feazell, former DA of McLennan County.