Texas drops DUI charge against billionaire Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton

  • Highway patrol officer who pulled her  over in 2011 has been suspended and can’t testify
  • Walton was arrested on her 62nd birthday  in Texas
  • Walton is worth an estimated $27 billion 

By  Daily Mail Reporter UPDATED: 14:36 EST, 10 September 2013

 

Prosecutors in Texas have dropped a 2011  drunken driving citation against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heiress Alice  Walton.

The highway patrol officer who pulled over  Walton, 63, has been suspended and won’t be available to testify, officials said  yesterday.

Parker County, Texas, Prosecutor John Forest  told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that his office had two years to pursue the  case against Walton. But the trooper’s suspension won’t be over by the Oct. 7  deadline.

Prosecutors in Texas have dropped a 2011 drunken driving citation against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heiress Alice Walton (pictured in Arkansas in 2011) 

Prosecutors in Texas have dropped a 2011 drunken driving  citation against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. heiress Alice Walton (pictured in Arkansas  in 2011)

 

Forrest said the trooper is on paid leave.  The suspension for alleged misconduct began in February.

Walton’s attorney, Dee Kelly of Fort Worth,  says the matter has been resolved without a formal charge being filed.

 

The arrest came about a month before the  opening of the Walton-backed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in  Bentonville.

Alice Walton's mugshot after the 2011 arrest in TexasAlice Walton’s mugshot after the 2011 arrest in  Texas

 

Walton was arrested on her 62nd birthday when  was stopped at an Intestate in Parker County Texas for a traffic  violation.

Texas Highway patrol Trooper Gary Rozzell  said at the time: ‘Through an investigation at the scene, Walton was determined  to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test.’

He also said she refused a breath test,  according to the Weatherford Democrat.

She was booked and released on $1,000  bond.

A statement from a family spokesman said: ‘Ms  Walton was pulled over by a patrolman with the Department of Public Safety for  driving 71 mph in an unattended 55 mph construction zone.

‘She was returning home from a birthday  dinner with friends at a Fort  Worth restaurant. She accepts full responsibility  for this unfortunate  incident and deeply regrets it.’

The DUI arrest was not Walton’s  first.

According to information from the  Springdale  District Court in Arkansas, Walton was convicted of driving  under the influence  in a 1998 case.According to the UK’s  Independent, she hit a gas meter and told the responding police officer: ‘I’m  Alice Walton, bitch!’

She paid a several hundred dollar fine in  that case, according to other news reports and served no jail  time.

No previous conviction showed up on her  criminal history so Walton was charged Friday with a first offence DWI,  according to Rozzell.

Alice Walton, Jim Walton (left) and Rob Walton (right), chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., speak at the company's annual shareholders meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in June 2012 

Alice Walton, Jim Walton (left) and Rob Walton (right),  chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., speak at the company’s annual shareholders  meeting in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in June 2012

 

Previous news accounts state Walton was  also  involved in a 1989 wreck in Arkansas that resulted in the death of a 50-year-old  woman.

No charges were filed at that time.

In October 2012 Walton was worth about $27  billion, making her the second-richest American woman, tenth-richest American  and 14th richest person in the world.

Walton purchased her first piece of art when she was about ten years old and this interest led to her spearheading the Walton Family Foundation’s involvement in developing Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

She has spent over $300million building an  American art museum in Arkansas, and the facilities alone cost over  $100mllion.

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Author: Ralph Turchiano

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