Always nice to see the Dallas Morning News reporting on Collin County justice issues. (Even nicer when they quote me).
This case was first reported by the CCO, and then a lengthy response and explanation of the law was made by me.
Basically, the guy wanted to plea guilty and let the judge punish him. The DA refused to allow that, which left him but one option. Plea Not Guilty, and elect the judge to sentence him. At that point, there is a sham trial, which involves about 60 citizens (in this case, possibly 240 citizens, because there were 4 charges), a judge, bailiff, prosecutor, and defense attorney who could all be doing better things with their time. After the sham trial, the judge sentences the defendant, just like he was asking for in the first place!