Stolen copper, police chase earn Borger man 13 years
Fri, 16 May 2014 20:44:12 GMT —
A Borger man was sentenced to 13 years for evading arrest or detention with a vehicle and possession of stolen copper.
The offense occurred on Feb. 28, 2013, in Borger. Presiding 84th Judicial District Judge William D. Smith presided over the trial while Assistant District Attorney Curt Brancheau represented the state. Borger attorney Frank Lay represented West.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the state called Sgt. Roger Mac Fields of the Borger Police Department who testified to a vehicular chase in the Gateway neighborhood of Borger that resulted in West wrecking his vehicle.
Upon arrest, Sgt. Fields discovered a number of stolen copper ground wires in West's possession.
ough Sgt. Fields' investigation, West chose to testify on his own behalf during the guilt/innocence portion of the trial and denied knowing he was fleeing from a police officer and also claimed to have no knowledge that the copper in his possession was stolen.
On Wednesday, the evidence was submitted to the jury. The jury deliberated for nearly two hours before finding West guilty of both counts.
During the punishment phase of the trial, the state introduced evidence that West had been previously convicted of numerous misdemeanor charges as well as felony convictions for possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine and evading arrest. All of West's prior convictions occurred in Hutchinson, Moore, and Potter Counties.
Due to West's prior convictions, the punishment range was enhanced to two to 20 years for the evading charge and 180 days to 24 months for possession of stolen copper charge.
On Thursday, after hearing closing arguments from the state and defense, the jury sentenced West to 13 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Institutional Division and assessed a $3,000 fine for the evading charge.
The jury further sentenced West to 18 months in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice - State Jail Division and assessed a $10,000 fine for the possession of stolen copper charge.
Asst. DA Brancheau was pleased with the jury's verdict and sentence.