SAN ANTONIO – The son of a prominent San Antonio jeweler again avoided jail time last month despite racking up his fourth driving while intoxicated conviction, Bexar County court records confirm.
James Preston Green, 37, was sentenced to six years probation during an October 24 hearing in 379th District Court, even though he was prosecuted under a repeat drunken driver enhancement.
A repeat evading arrest charge was dismissed and an unrelated 2017 felony choking - strangulation charge was also dismissed pending further investigation the same day, court records show.
A protection order filed against Green by the District Attorney's office on behalf of a woman in September 2017 remains pending, records show.
Green, who goes by Preston according to previous media reports, is the son of San Antonio jeweler Jimmy Green, the owner of J Green Jewelers.
District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Alexandra Zepeda defended the office's handling of Preston Green's latest case in a written statement this week:
Based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the defendant's cases the handling prosecutor determined that placing the defendant on community supervision was in the best interest of the victim, the defendant, and the community. Mr. Green will be strictly supervised with appropriate conditions for the next six years. If he fails to comply with the court's orders his community supervision may be revoked and his sentence of confinement will be imposed.
5 DWI arrests in 10 years
Arrest records compiled by the Defenders from Bexar, Comal and Guadalupe counties show Preston Green has been arrested on suspicion of DWI five times since 2008.
Records show a 2008 DWI arrest in Bexar County was taken into consideration and dismissed in January 2011, after Green agreed to plead guilty in a 2009 DWI case in Bexar County.
Four months later, in May 2011, Green was arrested for DWI - 2nd, and misdemeanor marijuana possession in Comal County.
Green pleaded no contest in January 2012 but his probation was extended in February 2014, according to Comal County court records.
By then, Green had landed a fourth DWI charge after being arrested in Guadalupe County in March 2013, records show.
In that incident, Green was also charged with evading arrest and tampering with physical evidence.
Records show he was convicted of DWI - 3rd or more, a felony, in November 2013, but his 10-year prison sentence was suspended.
Green's criminal history in Bexar County also includes multiple charges for evading arrest and a disorderly conduct conviction, as well as a misdemeanor drug possession charge and a family violence charge that were later dismissed.
Reached by telephone Thursday, Jimmy Green said his son has straightened out his life in the past nine months.
"I think he realized he had hit rock bottom. Sending him to jail would not help him," said Jimmy Green, who added that his son voluntarily checked himself into a rehabilitation program after his latest arrest.
How other repeat DWI offenders have fared
However, Preston Green's punishment differs from that of other repeat DWI offenders in Texas.
In June, KLTV reported that an Upshur County man was facing a possible life sentence after being indicted on a fifth DWI charge.
Jimmy Paul Shirley served nearly four years of a 15-year prison sentence after his fourth DWI conviction, according to the report.
KSAT reported earlier this year that an area man serving a four-year prison sentence for his fourth DWI conviction was unsuccessful in getting the case overturned, after claiming the state's DWI laws unfairly discriminate against alcoholics.
Texas law allows a person to be charged with a first-degree felony if he or she has four previous convictions for DWI.