Splendora man sentenced to life in prison for fourth DWI, criminal background

A Liberty County jury handed down a life sentence Tuesday to a 61-year-old Splendora man, Randy Bauer, convicted of his fourth offense for Driving While Intoxicated. Bauer was prosecuted by Liberty County District Attorney Logan Pickett in the 253rd State District Court of Judge Chap Cain.

Bauer was arrested for the fourth DWI on June 5, 2015, by Trooper Chris Cash during a routine traffic stop on SH 105 west of Cleveland. After noticing the odor of alcohol emitting from Bauer’s vehicle, Cash put Bauer through a field sobriety test. When he failed, Bauer was arrested.

“Bauer refused to submit to a blood test, so a warrant for his blood was obtained,” DA Pickett said in a written statement. “After the blood draw at the Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center, the vials were sent to the DPS Crime Lab in Houston for testing.”

Rachel Aubel, a DPS forensic scientist, ran four tests of the alcohol concentration that averaged to a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .142, nearly twice the legal limit in Texas of 0.08 BAC. Because of prior DWI convictions, this elevated Bauer’s case to a felony offense.

The punishment phase began immediately with evidence that Bauer’s bond had been forfeited after he failed to appear as required by Judge Cain. He also failed to maintain his alcohol monitoring device as required by his bond. A warrant was issued, and he was located in San Jacinto County where he fought with deputies trying to arrest him, according to the DA’s statement.

During trial, Pickett presented evidence that Bauer had previously been convicted of Assault-Family Violence and three DWIs, one of which resulted in prison time. He also had felony Bribery and Assault on a Peace Office convictions that were part of his four-year prison sentence.

“In 2006, shortly after his release, Bauer attempted to abduct an 11-year-old girl for illicit purposes in broad daylight at her school bus stop. That offense resulted in an eight-year prison sentence in Montgomery County District Court and yearly sex offender registration,” Pickett said. “The brave young girl, now 23, appeared before the Liberty County jury and recalled fighting Bauer off and preventing the abduction.”

After finding Bauer guilty of the DWI charge, jurors deliberated about an hour before deciding that the maximum sentence – life in prison – was appropriate for Bauer.

“Though some jurors struggled with the idea of punishing someone for DWI so severely, when coupled with the tremendous danger his criminal history showed, the jurors felt compelled to protect their community,” Pickett said.

“For almost 30 years, Randy Bauer has placed the people of Liberty and Montgomery counties in great danger. We have been lucky that his actions have not resulted in more serious injury and the 12 jurors virtually assured we will never have to worry about Randy Bauer again,” Pickett added.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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