A previously convicted sadist who got off lightly for a twisted crime in Houston ten years ago was not so lucky last week in Trinity County, where a country jury gave him ten presidential terms behind bars.
Donald Christopher Hernandez Jr. was convicted of both aggravated kidnapping and sexual assault. He was assessed a 40-year sentence on the former charge and a 20-year concurrent one on the latter.
Trinity County prosecutor Bennie Schiro told KTRE he was happy with the sentence because Hernandez was a "pretty dangerous guy."
Seems like a bit of an understatement to us, based on the reported incidents of this past March, as well as records we dug up from Harris County court files.
According to KTRE, Hernandez lured an unnamed Houston woman of his acquaintance to his trailer home in the country on the pretext of settling a cash debt he owed her. Once she was inside his trailer, Hernandez whacked the woman in the head with a baseball bat, and so began a horrific, week-long ordeal of rape and terror.
The bedroom's windows were boarded and the door locked from the outside. While in this hellhole, Hernandez repeatedly shocked the woman with a Taser-like weapon of his own devising, leaving her with second- and third-degree burns on her legs. According to Schiro, Hernandez told his victim that God ordered him to deliver those jolts. Hernandez also tied the woman to his bed and raped her with a Maglite flashlight.
The woman's friends and relatives in Houston knew where she went and grew alarmed that she had not come home. They called Trinity County police, who went to Hernandez's trailer several times. Hernandez was one step ahead: He had installed surveillance equipment all over his property and always knew when the cops were coming. He would turn off the lights before they would arrive. The woman reported seeing police cars pull up and drive off several times on a video monitor Hernandez had installed in his bedroom.
Hernandez, who apparently hates going to jail more than most criminals, also brewed up a concoction of fruit juice and antifreeze and told the woman he would guzzle it if police ever caught him at home.
A week into her captivity, the woman was released after she wrote Hernandez a letter of apology. How twisted is that?
Once free, she contacted the Trinity County Sheriff's Office. At last able to obtain a warrant for Hernandez's arrest, the cops had to kick down four doors to get hold of him. Hernandez made good on his word: by the time the cops got him, he had guzzled the Zerex cocktail he'd prepared.
The effects did not become apparent until the day after his arrest, when Hernandez complained of dizziness. He'd evidently ruined his kidneys, as he now must undergo dialysis treatments once a week.
And now he will be receiving them in the prison infirmary, at taxpayer expense.
Hernandez's twisted, evil ways began here in Houston in 2002 when he was charged with injury to a child. According to a criminal complaint, Hernandez's girlfriend at the time left him with her ten-month-old son. When she returned, she noticed that the infant's penis was red and swollen. Hernandez admitted that he pinched the boy's penis, and told his girlfriend that he did not wish to go to jail for the attack.
Nevertheless, the woman took the child to West Houston Medical Center and doctors there transferred the child to Texas Children's Hospital because of the nature of his injuries. Doctors there also found bruising to the child's suprapubic area, forehead, face and right inner ear.
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After his conviction in early 2003, Hernandez got his wish. There would be no jail time. Judge Susan Brown gave Hernandez five years' probation and 300 hours of community service. He was also fined $500 and ordered to attend parenting and anger-management classes and barred from seeing the child or his former girlfriend. His probation was terminated in 2006, two years before its scheduled ending.
Hernandez's good luck held through 2010 and 2011. The woman victimized in the attack that sent him to prison complained to Harris County cops that she had been raped and abducted by Hernandez in October of 2010. She went to a hospital to get a rape test after that alleged assault, but a spokesman for the Trinity County District Attorney's Office tells Hair Balls that the hospital did not have any rape kits handy. Without rape-test results in hand, the Harris County District Attorney's Office chose not to pursue the case.
The Trinity County DA spokesman also tells Hair Balls that the woman filed fruitless police complaints (for harrassment) against Hernandez in August and September of 2011 (in Dickinson) and third in October 2011 (in League City).
The spokesman says that after his arrest there, Hernandez tried to downplay the penis-pinching incident. "He told us that he had just spanked his girlfriend's kid," she said.