HENDERSON COUNTY–A one man crime spree beginning in the summer of 2017 ended on Nov. 28 with the maximum sentence available handed down on eleven different charges
Clifton Denean Dora, 59, pleaded guilty to six counts of Burglary, two counts of Theft, Theft of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle. He elected to have Judge Scott McKee of the 392nd District Court assess his punishment.
In a three day punishment hearing, Assistant District Attorneys Jenny Palmer and Daniel Cox presented evidence to Judge McKee regarding the offenses for which Dora pled guilty, in addition to evidence of his extensive criminal history.
Dora’s crime spree began in June 2017 and continued over the summer, as he committed numerous burglaries around the county. He stole farm equipment, lawn equipment, power tools, four wheelers, trailers, tractors, ATVs and firearms. The value of the property he stole amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
On September 18, 2017, the spree ended when a property owner caught Dora burglarizing his property, stealing power tools and an ATV. The property owner confronted Dora and was able to get a description of both Dora and his vehicle, including a partial license plate number.
Later that same day, Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Yockey spotted Dora at a tire shop on State Highway 19 north of Athens. When Deputy Yockey attempted to pull Dora over, a high speed chase ensued. Dora attempted to evade officers traveling on State Highway 19, Loop 7, and US 175 at speeds in excess of 115 miles per hour.
Dora exited U.S. Hwy 175 near Eustace and continued his flight on various county roads, pursued by Deputies David Robertson and Duane Sanders. Robertson was able to take Dora into custody at a gas station in Leagueville. Sheriff’s Office Investigator Charlie Severn was able to connect Dora to the other burglaries that occurred earlier in the summer.
Dora’s criminal history dates back to the 1970s. Prior to these guilty pleas, he had been convicted of 14other felony offenses, and had been to prison on three different occasions.
Citing his criminal history and the sheer number of crimes for which he was responsible, prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence. "This defendant is a one man crime spree. His history shows us that if he is not in prison, he’s going to continue to burglarize and steal. Prison is the only way to stop him," argued Assistant District Attorney Daniel Cox.
Judge McKee sentenced Dora to the maximum of 20 years on the Theft and Burglary charges, 99 years on the Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and the maximum of Life on the Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle.
After a sentence was pronounced, Assistant District Attorney Jenny Palmer stated, "I really appreciate all the hard work that the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office put in to catching Clifton Dora, and then connecting him to so many other thefts and burglaries. Without their tireless effort and determination, we wouldn’t have been able to bring closure to so many victims, and put a stop to this man’s utter disregard for the rights and property of others."