Roy Alvin Adams Jr. didn't win much sympathy from a Tarrant County jury when his case went to trial in 2005.
He had killed a cop, drunkenly running over veteran Grapevine police officer Darren Medlin as he performed a routine traffic stop along the State Highway 121, leaving Medlin's two preschool-age children without a father. Adams' blood alcohol level was .11 -- not raging drunk but still well above the legal limit of .08. He was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years for intoxication manslaughter.
The campaign by Adams' parents to clear their son's name and establish his innocence -- they say he wasn't drunk but likely experienced an epileptic seizure -- has similarly failed to gain much traction. Laura Adams-Jenkins and Roy Adams Sr. have set up a couple of websites highlighting perceived discrepancies in the drunk-driving investigation and trial but Adams remains in prison.
Now, they've settled on a new strategy, and it's already garnering attention. As Fox 4 reported last night, Adams-Jenkins has taken to standing outside the Tarrant County Courthouse with a sign contrasting her son's relatively harsh sentence to the slap on the wrist handed down to drunk driver/affluenza victim Ethan Couch.
The cases have one obvious parallel -- both ran over people while drunk -- but the comparison doesn't withstand much scrutiny. Couch was 16 at the time of his accident and was tried in the juvenile justice system, where the focus is on rehabilitation. Adams was 27 when he ran over Medlin and so was tried in adult court.
Richard Alpert, the prosecutor who handled both cases and who pushed for prison time for Couch as well, highlighted the age disparity in his comments to Fox 4.
"So she's comparing her son to a 16-year-old boy?" he said. "Her son was 27, 28 when this happened."
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Nevertheless, Adams-Jenkins says she'll be outside the courthouse every month holding her sign until her son is released from prison, which will be in 4-and-a-half years.
Here's the Fox 4 story:
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.