After being in and out of prisons over the past week, Samuel Kent, a former federal judge in Galveston, was released on Aug. 1, according to one of his attorneys, to head to West Texas, where he will finish his 33-month prison sentence at home.
“He’s on the last three months of his sentence and was finally granted home confinement,” says Kent’s lawyer Dick DeGuerin, a partner in DeGuerin & Dickson in Houston.
Kent was released from the Demilly Correctional Institution in Polk City, Fla., on July 27, and flew to Houston that day with his wife, says Sean Buckley, a lawyer at DeGuerin & Dickson who worked on the Kent case with DeGuerin. Kent had received a furlough from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to attend his stepdaughter’s wedding in Houston on July 30, DeGuerin and Buckley say.
While in Houston in preparation for the wedding, Buckley says Kent was checking in with his supervising officer in Florida on a regular basis, reporting each time he changed location. But on Friday, July 29, before the rehearsal dinner, Kent learned from the supervising officer that the BOP revoked his furlough and he would have to turn himself in at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Houston or risk arrest by the U.S. Marshalls Service, Buckley says. Buckley says Kent reported to the detention center that evening, and he was released from custody on Aug. 1.
On Aug. 3, the BOP Website listed Kent’s location as CCM El Paso, which is a community corrections office headquartered in San Antonio, and his release date as Nov. 5.
In an interview in 2010, Kent’s wife Sarah said she has been living in a cabin in the Fort Davis area because the couple sold their home to pay her husband’s legal bills.
DeGuerin says he is outraged and “mad as hell” that Kent’s furlough was revoked, so Kent could not attend the wedding. DeGuerin alleges the BOP revoked the furlough because of media inquiries.
Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the BOP in Washington, D.C., says she cannot comment on Kent’s case, and refers questions about furlough policy to the BOP website.
In 2009, Kent pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, and U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida, sitting by designation in Houston, sentenced Kent to 33 months in prison. As part of that plea bargain, Kent pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge for making false statements to a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals committee looking into complaints against him. In a written statement, Kent admitted to nonconsensual sexual contact with two women as part of his plea bargain.
The two women’s Houston lawyers, Rusty Hardin of Rusty Hardin & Associates and Terry W. Yates of Terry W. Yates and Associates, each did not return a telephone call seeking comment.