It took a Parker County jury all of five minutes on Thursday to convict 44-year-old Dana Brock of burglary. The evidence, after all, was pretty incontrovertible. Surveillance video showed her stealing a weedwacker and power washer from an Aledo garage last May.
But that's not what made Brock famous. Last December, she was arrested for stealing Christmas decorations from homes in Parker County, decorations which she would then reportedly hang on customers' homes as part of her holiday-lighting business.
Sheriff's deputies -- and the media -- immediately dubbed her the Grinch. Despite certain discrepancies (Brock isn't green, she has an adequately sized heart, and she was stealing Christmas from human beings in Aledo rather than Whos in Whoville) the name stuck.
That crime, too, was caught on video. Take a look:
So, it wasn't a surprise that she was convicted. The shocker came on Friday, when the jury handed down a 70-year sentence.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Under normal circumstances, the home burglary conviction would have landed Brock in prison for two and 20 years. But Brock has a lengthy criminal record, starting with a 1987 conviction for solicitation of murder (she was 17 at the time) and continuing with various convictions for injury to a child, credit card abuse and theft, and prosecutors pushed for a harsher sentence under Texas' three-strikes law.
Brock was incredulous.
"She kept asking me, '70 years? Are you serious? 70 years?'" her attorney, Raul Narvaez, told NBC 5. "Because 70 years is a pretty harsh sentence for this kind of a deal. And quite frankly, that's what I argued to the jury. But the jury decided, and we have to respect that."
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.