Down in Texas, they call Dana Brock the Grinch — or the “Aledo Grinch,” for the time in December of last year when a surveillance camera caught her stealing Christmas lights off a home in Aledo.
Now they’ll just call her, “inmate,” probably for the rest of her life. Brock, 44, was hit last Friday with a 70-year prison sentence for her latest caper, burglarizing a weed wacker and some other power tools from a homeowner’s garage. That crime was also caught on security cameras.
"One of our deputies who responded out to this case and looked at the surveillance video at the homeowner's house saw her on the video and said, 'Hey, that's the Grinch,’” Assistant Parker County District Attorney Jeff Swain recounted to a local TV station. “He knew right away who it was."
See a captured image from the Christmas light surveillance video, above.
If 70 years for pilfering power tools seem rather extreme — it is. But the sentence took into account not just Brock’s propensity for squelching Christmas cheer, but her lengthy criminal history going back to age 17 when she was convicted in Arizona of solicitation to commit murder.
“The defendant’s long criminal record played a major role in her sentence,” Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania told a local newspaper. “We introduced records showing that she had been convicted of solicitation of murder, two injury to a child offenses, two credit card abuse cases, two felony trespasses, two misdemeanor thefts, and numerous other non-adjudicated offenses.”
In the weed wacker case, Brick contended that a man had dragged her out of her house and forced her to steal the power tools. In fact, her boyfriend testified to that scenario on the witness stand.
But the jury didn’t buy it. The boyfriend was in the hospital at the time of the incident, which didn’t help his credibility.
"A 70-year sentence will knock the air out of your stomach,” said Brocks’ lawyer Raul Navarez. “She kept asking me, '70 years? Are you serious? 70 years?' Because 70 years is a pretty harsh sentence for this kind of a deal.”