A 24-year-old Dallas man Wednesday was sentenced May 5, 2021, to just shy of the maximum sentence on three offenses stemming from a June 2020 high speed pursuit of a stolen vehicle on Interstate 30.
Demondre Deshawn Holiness was tried this week in the 8th Judicial District Court for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, and unlawful possession of a firearm by felon. Assistant District Attorney Zachary Blackmon tried the case, with ADA Matt Harris sitting second chair on the case.
Holiness was accused of stealing a BMW from a Dallas resident on June 26, 2020, which was just a few months after his release from prison for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. On June 29, 2020, the defendant was alleged to have been traveling east bound on Interstate 30 through Hopkins County, when an officer attempted to stop him for being in the stolen car. Instead of stopping near Cumby, however, Holiness was alleged to have lead law enforcement officials on a high speed chase which reached speeds over 130 miles per hour. Holiness then reportedly abandoned the car, as well as a gun, in a residential area near Coleman Park. Law enforcement located the defendant on foot near the scene moments later, and he was taken into custody, according to court and law enforcement reports. The Dallas man’s cell phone was also allegedly still connected to the stolen vehicle’s Bluetooth radio system, further linking him to the vehicle, officers noted in June 2020 arrest reports.
Holiness has remained in Hopkins county jail since his arrested on June 29, 2020, according to jail reports. He was served July 7 with warrants for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and tampering with evidence, according to arrest and jail reports. The Dallas man was indicted during the September 2020 Grand Jury session on the stolen car (UUV) evading arrest or detention and firearm charges, according to court records.
The trial began Monday, May 3, with jury selection. Evidence opened and closed on Tuesday, and the jury found the defendant guilty on all 3 charges Wednesday.
The punishment range for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle is 6 months to 2 years in prison. The range for evading arrest or detention with a vehicle is typically 2-10 years in prison, but the defendant’s prior conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon enhanced the range of punishment to 2-20 years, Blackmon explained. The range of punishment for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon is a 2-to-10-year sentence.
The jury also reportedly found that the defendant used the stolen BMW as a deadly weapon while he fled the pursuing officers. On Wednesday, the 24-year-old Dallas man was sentenced by the Hopkins County Jury to 2 years for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, 19 years for evading arrest or detention with a motor vehicle, and 10 years for unlawful possession of a firearm by felon. While the prison sentences total 31 years sentences, they will run concurrently. Because of the deadly weapon enhancement, however, Holiness will have to serve 9 ½ years, day for day with no good conduct time, before becoming eligible for parole on his 19-year sentence, according to Blackmon.
“Law enforcement from both the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and Sulphur Springs Police Department did outstanding work on this case, and the jury sent a strong, but simple message: Hopkins County is not the place to commit crime,” Blackmon said.
The Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office is located at 298 Rosemont St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 438-4040.
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