By Justin Cox
Killeen Daily Herald
BELTON ? Temple's Barry Dean Garrett has lived a life of crime.
After he beat a Temple cop with a blunt piece of wood in an open city street, a judge decided the rest of his life should be spent in prison.
Judge Martha Trudo of the 264th District Court sentenced Garrett, 46, to life in prison for assault on a public servant with a deadly weapon.
With seven felonies on his record and facing a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison, Garrett took the stand in his own defense Dec. 3.
The jury didn't buy his story, returning that same day with a guilty verdict in 30 minutes.
Trudo told Garrett at his sentencing Thursday, "You can't continue with the life you've been living."
Garrett's defense attorney said his client intends to appeal the decision, though he said he did not know what element of the case would be challenged.
Assistant District Attorney Mike Waldman said it was an appropriate punishment due to Garrett's extensive criminal past and the sheer violence of the crime against a public servant.
Waldman said Garrett beat and dislocated the shoulder of a Temple police officer by pounding him with a piece of wood on a city street on May 10.
Waldman said Garrett had the officer on the ground pinned against a shoulder broken in two places and dislocated. He said Garrett reached for Smith's gun, forcing Smith to roll onto the wounded shoulder to prevent Garrett from grabbing it.
Though the officer was injured, Garrett jumped on him and hit him repeatedly with his fists. He then obtained a piece of wood lying in the street and proceeded to beat the officer with it as he lay injured in the street.
Smith was on hand for the sentencing, wearing his Temple Police Department uniform and smiling alongside his wife as court recessed.
The indictment lists four third-degree felony convictions, all taking place in Milam County in the 1980s. The most recent were two burglary-of-a-building convictions on Aug. 18, 1989. The other two convictions came on Feb. 10, 1984 ? one for delivery of marijuana, the other for burglary of a vehicle.
According to the indictment, the May 10 attack occurred when Sgt. Gary Smith tried to arrest Garrett in the 500 block of South Martin Luther King Boulevard in Temple.
The affidavit said a witness driving past saw Garrett on top of Smith with his hands on the officer's throat, and later witnessed him getting the piece of wood.
Temple police responded shortly thereafter and detained Garrett.
Contact Justin Cox at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568.