'Just a matter of time until he killed someone': 5 time DWI offender convicted of felony murder

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022
Driver charged in deadly crash had 5 DWIs
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Owen McNett is facing murder charges after investigators said he killed a man while driving drunk.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- A man who officials say is a repeat drunk driver has been convicted of felony murder for the death of another driver in a crash that happened four years ago.

50-year-old, Owen McNett, was driving a Ram 1500 pickup at around 8 p.m. on Feb 9, 2018, when officials say he approached a three-way stop at Telge and Boudreaux roads in Cypress. In another car at the intersection, 54-year-old, Wayne Childers, was driving a Buick Verano on Boudreaux and was trying to turn south on Telge.

Officials say McNett didn't make a stop at the stop sign and drove 40 mph into Childers' car. McNett T-boned the driver's side of his vehicle, killing Childers.

The video featured above is from the report on McNett's DWI four years ago.

A Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy arrested McNett at the hospital. Documents show that at the time of the crash, McNett was intoxicated. Officials say his blood alcohol level was .31, almost four times the legal limit of .08.

Four years later, McNett was convicted by a jury on Oct. 25. He chose to have his punishment determined by the judge. That hearing has been set for Nov. 16.

McNett faces a minimum of 25 years in prison and maximum of life. Chief of the District Attorney's Office Vehicular Crimes Division, Sean Teare, who prosecuted the case, said he would seek a life sentence for McNett.

"This is our worst nightmare and an example of the system failing over and over again," Teare said. "The second he gets out, he could be 90 years old and commit this crime again and kill someone else."

Before this crash, McNett had five other DWI convictions, but officials say this is the first time he actually killed someone.

  • In 1992, McNett was convicted in Kimble County for DWI and put on probation.
  • In 1996, he was arrested by Benbrook police in Tarrant County for his second DWI and sentenced to 30 days in jail.
  • In 2006, he was convicted of DWI in Johnson County and sentenced to seven years in prison.
  • In 2007, Houston police officers arrested McNett for his fourth DWI for which he received four years in prison.
  • In 2012, DPS troopers arrested him in McLennan County for what would be his fifth DWI. He was given a six-year prison sentence.

"This is a repeat offender who was on parole for driving drunk when he killed a husband and father of four," said Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. "He was a one-man crime wave on wheels, and it was just a matter of time until he killed someone."