Habitual drunk driver facing 6th DWI charge had blood alcohol content nearly 4 times the legal limit, records show

Karon Shouse, 57, transferred to TDCJ treatment facility despite pending felony charges in Kendall County

Karon Shouse has been charged with DWI six times in four counties since 2006. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

KENDALL COUNTY, Texas – A San Antonio-area woman charged with drunk driving six times in four counties has so far avoided a lengthy prison sentence, despite picking up additional charges last fall while on probation for felony DWI.

Karon Shouse, 57, faces felony charges of DWI-3rd or more and evading arrest with a motor vehicle in Kendall County, after investigators in September 2021 said she drove the wrong way down a street, nearly struck a man with her vehicle and then refused to stop for a Fair Oaks Ranch police officer who attempted to pull her over.

The latest instance follows Shouse pleading guilty to a felony DWI in September 2019 in Comal County. Then, prosecutors filed a motion to revoke her probation but Shouse was instead sent to a state treatment facility, community supervision records show.

One source familiar with Shouse’s legal problems called the Comal County court’s decision surprising, since Shouse has pending felony charges and her stay at a Texas Department of Criminal Justice treatment facility cannot extend beyond 120 days.

Shouse is also accused of crashing into another vehicle during the Kendall County incident in 2021, according to a seizure order filed in October to take possession of Shouse’s vehicle.

Separate breath specimens provided by Shouse came back with blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of .315 and .308, nearly four times the legal limit to drive in Texas, Kendall County records show.

Shouse, who was required to have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle she operated as part of the 2019 DWI plea agreement in Comal County, was driving a vehicle without one the night of her arrest in Kendall County.

History of DWI started in Bexar County

For Shouse, her Kendall County arrest was her sixth time being charged with DWI since 2006, according to records compiled by the KSAT 12 Defenders from four area counties.

Shouse racked up three DWI charges in a five-month period in Bexar County, misdemeanor court records obtained by the Defenders show.

Shouse was first charged with DWI in Bexar County in February 2006, while under investigation for a separate November 2004 drunk driving incident, according to court records.

Shouse was eventually charged in the initial 2004 case, in April 2006, 17 months after San Antonio police said her vehicle struck a guardrail while driving along Loop 1604 North, according to charging paperwork.

Shouse, who failed a standard field sobriety test and provided a breath specimen with a BAC over .08, suffered a cut to her head during the crash.

Magistrate officials refused to accept her for booking after her arrest and instead sent her to a hospital to be treated, causing the misdemeanor case to be filed against her more than a year later, records show.

Shouse was then charged with DWI-open container and driving while license invalid in July 2006, after officers said a cup of wine was found in her possession while she was driving drunk, court records show.

Shouse was found guilty in April 2007 as part of a negotiated plea that called for the February 2006 charge to be dismissed and for her to plead no contest in the July 2006 case, records show.

Months before signing the plea agreement, however, in January 2007, Shouse was found to have violated the conditions of her pretrial release, after an ignition interlock device determined Shouse had alcohol present on her breath while her vehicle was running.

Shouse was eventually sentenced to 14 months of probation and ordered to pay fines and court costs, records show.

Trouble elsewhere

Two years later, in June 2009, Shouse was booked for felony DWI in Hays County.

Shouse pleaded guilty in January 2010 and was ordered to serve 90 days in jail as part of a work-release program, court records show.

The program, which called for Shouse to be released from jail on weekday mornings and to return at night, was later shortened to 66 days from the original 90, records show.

In August 2018 Shouse was again arrested for felony DWI, this time in Comal County.

In exchange for pleading guilty in September 2019, a ten-year prison sentence was set aside and Shouse was instead given ten years of probation, ordered to serve 960 hours of community service and serve 10 days in the county jail, a copy of the plea agreement shows.

After Shouse’s latest arrest in Kendall County, she was booked back into the Comal County Jail on Nov. 23, Comal County officials said.

Shouse was transferred from the Comal County Jail to the East Texas Treatment Facility on Jan. 5, court records show.

Officials have not said what awaits Shouse after she is released from the TDCJ treatment center, which will happen in early May at the latest.

Shouse’s only requirement after her release is to report back to the Comal County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, court records show.

Comal County District Attorney Jennifer Tharp did not respond to a phone call seeking comment for this story. A woman who identified herself as the DA’s office manager said via telephone this month, “We don’t discuss cases with anyone outside of defense attorneys.”

Shouse’s criminal defense attorney did not respond to multiple phone calls seeking comment for this story.

James Preston Green

Shouse’s legal journey bears some similarities to James Preston Green, who at first avoided jail time despite racking up four DWI convictions.

The lenient treatment of Green, the son of a prominent San Antonio jeweler, was first exposed by the Defenders in November 2018.

James Preston Green. (KSAT)

Weeks after the investigation was published, in December 2018, a district court judge signed off on a motion to revoke Green’s probation.

Green was sentenced to six years in prison in early January 2019, but was released in November after serving less than half of his sentence, Bexar County court records show.


About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.