A former city councilman pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the 15th state District Court Thursday morning.
Former Tom Bean City Council member Ben Vincent entered the plea in front of Judge Jim Fallon on charges stemming from a July 2017 car wreck in which he allegedly crashed his vehicle while intoxicated and injured another motorist.
Vincent, 58, was arraigned in the 15th District Court before Fallon back in September and at that time, pleaded not guilty to those charges.
The plea agreement Vincent and his attorney Bob Jarvis reached with the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office calls for the DA to drop an intoxicated assault with vehicle charge that Vincent also faced out of the same incident.
Fallon ordered a presentence report and set the sentencing date for March 27. Vincent is applying for deferred adjudication probation. If he completes that form of probation, he would end up without a felony conviction on his record.
The wreck that led to the charges followed a separate incident in which Vincent was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. In that July 2017 incident, a Whitewright Police Department officer observed his vehicle drift into oncoming lanes as he drove through that city. Body camera footage recorded during the stop showed Vincent admitting to officers that he drank a full bottle of wine in the three hours preceding the wreck. The footage also showed Vincent struggling to maintain his balance and incorrectly stating what year it was.
Despite Vincent’s admission, the officer did not place him under arrest and instead allowed him to call for a ride home. No police report was filed, but the officer was ultimately terminated for the decision.
Within a matter of days, Vincent was involved in the wreck in Tom Bean that injured the other motorist. After his vehicle entered oncoming lanes of State Highway 11, it collided head-on with a car driven by a Tom Bean Independent School District employee. Vincent and the injured driver of the other car were both taken to an area hospital for treatment. Texas Department of Public Safety troopers arrested Vincent upon his release.
Herald Democrat writer Drew Smith contributed to this report.