Jury gives man 40 years for attacking mom, holding gun to baby’s head

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NEW BOSTON, Texas: A Bowie County jury sentenced a 20-year-old Texarkana man to 40 years in prison Wednesday for aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping involving a young mother and her 2-year-old son.

Xavier Lavar French pleaded guilty to both charges at a hearing last week. He asked that a jury determine his sentence.

French attacked the woman from behind as she was returning home from a late work shift June 29, according to a probable cause affidavit. The mother told Texarkana, Texas, police that she was getting out her keys when she was pistol whipped from behind in front of her apartment door in the 600 block of Champion Place.

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The woman reported that she fell to the ground after being struck in the head. Her attacker allegedly pulled her up by her hair and continued to hit her with a gun as he demanded she open her apartment door. The woman said her assailant grabbed her young son, held him to his hip and pointed a gun to the child’s head while threatening to kill him and demanding money.

The woman said that she went to her bathroom where she kept a bag with cash. Unable to find the bag in the dark, the woman turned on the light. The woman reported that she threw the bag behind her and threw herself into the bathtub. While moving into the tub, the woman caught sight of the man behind her in a mirror and recognized him as someone she knows as, “X.”

First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp argued in closing remarks that French is a threat to women and the community, pointing out that he beat a former girlfriend and led another to commit a felony crime on his behalf. French was on probation at the time of the robbery for burglary and evading arrest in a vehicle.

French was represented by Assistant Public Defender Clayton Haas. 202nd District Judge John Tidwell presided over the trial.

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