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Travis County DA Lehmberg begins jail sentence

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Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is in jail.

Friday morning she was led away in handcuffs after entering a guilty plea for a drinking and driving arrest one week ago today.

Lehmberg appeared in court this morning to enter a guilty plea to the charge of drinking and driving.

"The sentence will be 45 days in jail. You will pay a $4,000 fine. Your license will be suspended for 180 days and that will start on May 23," the judge said.

With that, Lehmberg was fingerprinted and then handcuffed and lead away to jail.

A new mug shot was released where she is wearing black and white stripes, her permanent dress for the upcoming days.

Also new, is the release of her blood alcohol content. She measured .23, that's almost triple the legal limit. It led to an enhancement of her offense to a class a misdemeanor.

"This is a terrible mistake on her part and should not override the fact that she's served the citizens of this county for so long. She said she'd accept responsibility and she's accepting responsibility she's taken the harshest punishment anyone has had and walk into jail voluntarily," Lehmberg's Attorney David Sheppard said.

As Lehmberg was getting settled in jail, family and friends of DWI crash victims and law enforcement officers, some of whom co-workers of the deputy who arrested Lehmberg last Friday, marched silently to remember lives lost.

"We lost a family friend," said one DWI march participant.

"One of my closest friends lost her grandparents," another participant said.

All had opinions of Lehmberg's plea deal.

"I think that she should step down and we should go after her like there's no tomorrow. She of all people should know better," said DWI march of sorrow participant, Sandy McAnul.

"It doesn't matter who you are what your status is you're gonna kill people by drinking drunk. I'm glad she did it. I'm glad she took a stand for what we're trying to do out here," said Amanda Barney.

DWI Attorney Jerry Smith says Lehmberg's 45 day sentence is rare. Most first time offenders don't serve jail time.

"I think that there probably are worse sentences, but I don't think it's a slap on the wrist by any means," Smith said.

Smith is still waiting to make up his mind about whether Lehmberg should keep her job.

"After all her office wants Tom Delay to do three years prison time and no one died in that. But someone could die from what I understand happened in her case," Smith said.

Lehmberg's staff will keep her office running as if she's on vacation.


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