NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County jury sentenced a 61-year-old man to 35 years in prison Wednesday for leading police on a long chase in July 2016.
Roy Dean Jones faced an enhanced punishment range of 25 to 99 years or life in prison because of prior felony convictions. Evading arrest or detention in a vehicle is usually punishable by two to 10 years in prison. In addition to the 35-year prison sentence, the jury ordered a $10,000 fine.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter argued that Jones put police and the public at risk when he refused to pull over July 15, 2016. Assistant Public Defender Sylvia Delgado argued that the state couldn’t prove it was Jones who was driving the motorcycle that led police on a chase in two states.
Texarkana, Texas, Police Officer Bo Carter said he was patrolling in the Highland Park area of Texarkana, Texas, at about 9:30 p.m. the night of July 15, 2016, when he noticed a motorcycle being driven erratically. Bo Carter said the driver had his feet hanging down and he suspected he was either intoxicated or inexperienced at driving the motorcycle. Bo Carter said he attempted to pull the motorcycle over after it failed to stop completely at a stop sign.
Bo Carter said he called for assistance when he realized the motorcycle wasn’t going to stop. Bo Carter said he was concerned that sharp turns and bumps associated with a chase could injure the police canine riding in his patrol car. Texarkana, Texas, Police Officer Colten Johnson testified that he was nearby when the call for help came in and he managed to pull in front of Carter’s unit and behind the motorcycle as it traveled from 23rd Street to Olive Street.
Johnson testified that he was able to get a good view of the driver’s face when he made in a turn in the roadway and identified Roy Jones as the person with long white hair and a white beard he chased. Johnson said that he continued to follow behind when Roy Jones crossed the state line into Texarkana, Ark., and officers with that police department took over the pursuit.
Johnson said he chased Roy Jones a second time after he crossed back into Texas. Texarkana, Ark., Police Officer Joshua Jones testified that he followed the motorcycle for at least 10 miles in the city limits of Texarkana, Ark., before the chase was called off because of concern for public safety. Joshua Jones said the motorcycle nearly wrecked at one point, ran numerous stop signs and drove recklessly.
Joshua Jones and Johnson testified that one of the officers pursuing Roy Jones was able to get the motorcycle’s tag number. The motorcyle was registered to Richard Turner.
Turner testified that a number of law enforcement officers showed up at his home the night of the chase. Turner said he told the officers he had sold the motorcycle through a newspaper ad to a man named Roy Jones. Turner, who also has white hair, said that he signed the title over to Jones after being paid cash for the motorcycle and that he did not have a bill of sale. Turner was able to give officers Jones’ address because he had followed him to his home after Jones bought the motorcycle so that he could give him a ride back to Turner’s house where Jones’ vehicle was parked.
Following Turner’s testimony, 5th District Judge Bill Miller discussed an issue with a juror outside the presence of the other jurors. The juror said that she did not realize until Turner walked into court that she knew him. The juror said she has known Turner for 20 years and does not believe he was the one who evaded arrest on the motorcycle. Miller thanked the juror for her service but excused her and replaced her with a male alternate out of “an abundance of caution” to insure Jones receives a fair trial.
Jones has prior convictions for drug-related offenses and aggravated assault.