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Twenty Years for Flinging Feces on Texas Guards

On June 23, 2002, in the first case prosecuted before a jury under a new harassment law, a Texas jury convicted a prisoner of harassment and sentenced him to 20-years in prison.

Jeffery Wayne Wheatly, a 35-year old Texas state prisoner, was indicted for throwing feces and urine on two guards and their clothing in administrative segregation at the TDCJ Hughes Unit on January 25, 2001. Wheatly took his case to a jury, something which has not previously occurred under the harassment statute which was enacted September 1, 1999. Prosecutors enhanced the third-degree felony using Wheatly's prior conviction for aggravated robbery. The jury rejected Wheatly's defense that he was set up by guards and sentenced him to the maximum of 20 years to be served after he completes his aggravated robbery sentence. Prosecutors noted that all other prisoners previously charged under this statute had pleaded guilty.

Source: The Gatesville Messenger

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