Next Generation Action Network leader Dominique Alexander refused a plea deal Thursday in Denton County to serve four years in prison for a felony theft charge out of Flower Mound.
An Oak Cliff native, Alexander has become one of the faces of the protest movement in Dallas. He's best known for organizing the July 7, 2016, police brutality protest at which a gunman killed five law enforcement officers and injured seven others in downtown Dallas. He claims to be quite a salesman. He learned the ropes as a salesperson for TXU energy before his troubles with the law began in July 2009.
Shortly after Alexander's arrest in early September, he told the Dallas Observer that he was being charged in this Denton County theft case because of his notoriety in Dallas' protest scene. Besides the July 7 police shooting, he’s been known to close down a freeway from time to time and appear in front of the Old Red Courthouse downtown to raise awareness, he says, for other victims of an unjust criminal system.
A Denton County grand jury disagreed. According to the Aug. 18 indictment, Alexander was charged with theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000, stemming from a credit card processing company deal gone bad. Punishment normally includes a fine and 6 months to 2 years in prison. But his charges are enhanced because he’d been convicted of a felony forgery charge in January 2013 in Dallas County. He's now facing up to 20 years in prison.
Alexander has had numerous run-ins with the law, leaving behind a trail of mugshots that capture him aging over nearly a 10-year period. One of his most notorious convictions involves a former girlfriend’s son whom he claimed fell off the couch. He was arrested in July 2009 for causing serious bodily injury to a child, was convicted and received probation, which he violated multiple times. He blamed former Dallas police Chief, David Brown for his probation revocation and told the Observer that Brown was angered because he refused to hold protests in safer places. Brown said it wasn't true.
"He's absolutely blaming me," Alexander told the Observer during a visit to his home a day before the sentencing in September 2016.
He lived in a small, sparsely decorated apartment in Oak Cliff. He said he was a salesman for a credit card processing company and even showed off one of the processing machines he sold to businesses. It looked like an overweight calculator.
Alexander was sentenced to two years in prison for violating probation on multiple occasions. He received credit for his time served in county jail and spent about a week in prison, where became friendly with a member of the Aryan Brother and earned a jailhouse tag (a broken tooth). After his release, he told the Observer that he was a changed man.
A year later, he was back in jail in Denton County.
"It doesn't make sense to me," Alexander said shortly before he appeared in front of the judge Thursday afternoon.
The grand jury claims that from early May to June 2016, Alexander ran a scheme on Mike Deleonardis, who owned MWD Financial Solutions Inc. in Flower Mound until its franchise tax involuntarily ended, according to the state comptroller’s website. His company offered credit card processing, and Alexander says he was hired as an independent contract salesman to lease the processing equipment to businesses. They'd pay a monthly service fee, one to process credit cards and another to insure the equipment. Alexander earned commission from each sale.
Deleonardis didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Alexander says he contracted with Deleonardis’ financial company for about six months and compared the setup to how car salespeople and car companies sell cars for manufacturers. He claims he received about $13,000 in two cashier's checks for selling a couple of processing machines to two businesses. The state claims he failed to deliver on his end of the bargain.
It’s unclear if the companies received the credit card processing machines, whether they signed a contract and then refused to pay because of hidden fees or if they even knew about the agreements in the first place. The Denton County District Attorney’s Office doesn’t discuss pending cases, and the grand jury indictment doesn’t delve into those details. Alexander's Dallas attorney, Bree West, says they're not at a point where they can discuss the case publicly yet.
Alexander’s attorney was late to the docket hearing Thursday because of traffic, she said. She had already missed two other hearings. (Busy.) She claimed that she and her client just learned about the plea deal when it was issued March 15, but it had been pending to be announced since November. The announcement date kept getting reset, according to online court records.
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They declined the plea deal and set the trial date for late August.
After the hearing, Alexander told the Observer by phone that he decided to take the case to trial because it was all a misunderstanding. He'd deliver on his end of the deal. He also said that the state would have to drop the enhancement charges, which he said meant he would be only facing six months to two years in prison if convicted.
Jamie Beck from the Denton County DA's Office disagreed.
"No, we are not dropping the enhancement paragraphs because we're going to trial," she said. "That's kind of part of what a trial is all about."