Jul 15, 2019
Sentenced to 65 years in a Texas prison, Damon West once had it all. He came from a great family, in a home full of God, love, support, and opportunities. A natural born leader, handsome and charming, and a three-year starting quarterback, he appeared to be the all-American.
Underneath this façade, however, was an addict in the early stages of his disease. After suffering childhood sexual abuse by a babysitter at the age of nine, he began putting chemicals into his body to alter the way he felt, starting with drinking and smoking. By the age of 12, he would escalate to marijuana use.
After receiving a scholarship to play football for the University of North Texas, Damon left for college. When his football career came to a premature end, due to an injury, in 1996, against Texas A&M, Damon lost all direction.
Football had become so much of his identity that he no longer knew who he was. Damon chose a dark path on the road of addiction, abusing harder drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and prescription pills to go along with the alcohol and marijuana.
After graduating in 1999, Damon’s life would take him to the United States Congress, political fundraising for a presidential candidate and then into the world of Wall Street, with a position to train as a stockbroker for one of the biggest banks in the world, U.B.S. It was here that Damon was introduced to meth for the first time; he was instantly hooked.
After 3 years of committing property crimes and other drug-related crimes in order to fuel his meth habit, a Dallas SWAT team finally caught up with Damon and arrested him on July 30, 2008. The consequences of his behavior earned him a life-sentence of 65 years for Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.
Damon began prison life armed with the knowledge that “you don’t have to win all your fights, but you do have to fight all your fights,” as he battled for his right to exist independent of a gang. Clinging closely to God, his family’s unwavering support, the story of the coffee bean an elderly convict shared with him in county jail, a 12-step recovery program and all the tools available to him, Damon emerged from prison a better man spiritually, emotionally and physically. On November 16, 2015, he walked out of prison with 58 years of parole.
Today, Damon is enrolled in graduate school at Lamar University, where he is studying criminal justice, and works for the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont, TX.