AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 15 -- Texas state Sen. Drew Nixon has pleaded guilty to prostitution and weapons charges, but opted to let a jury decide his sentence. A five-woman, one-man jury was selected to hear the punishment phase of Nixon's trial, which is expected to end Tuesday.
Nixon's lawyers are seeking probation for the Carthage Republican, even though he received deferred adjudication on similar charges in Dallas in 1993. Austin political consultant Bill Miller, Nixon's spokesman, said no decision has been made about the senator's political future, and that Nixon 'will not have anything to say until the trial is over.' The weapons charge is punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, and the prostition charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. However, since the charges are being tried together, Nixon could receive no more than one year. When asked why Nixon pleaded guilty, Miller said, 'At the time of the incident earlier this year, he went back home and before God and everyone said his actions were inexcuseable. He pleaded accordingly this morning.' Miller said Nixon decided to let a jury decide his punishment because the case 'is in the public domain. Let the public decide.' Nixon was arrested Feb. 18 after he allegedly offered an undercover Austin police officer $35 for sexual acts. Police also found a loaded pistol under the seat of his car. Miller said, 'I believe that the prosecution will do their dead level best to present an ugly scenario. I think you will see all the same evidence you would see in a trial.' ---
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