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Public Safety News
Galveston County District Attorney's Office
News Release
Friday, September 29, 2017

Man Sentenced to 17 ½ Years for Evading Police


GALVESTON – Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady announced on Thursday that Charles Harold Johnson, Jr., 45, was sentenced yesterday to 17 ½ years in prison for Felony Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle and 5 years in prison for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle.

On Monday, September 25, 2017 Johnson’s jury trial began in the 405th District Court. Johnson entered a plea of not guilty and the State presented evidence detailing Johnson’s actions that led to his February 2017 arrest.

On February 9, 2017, Texas City Police Department officers, responded to a report of a stolen vehicle at a convenience store on Highway 146. The victim said that she parked her car and went inside the store, leaving her car unlocked with the keys still inside. While inside the store she saw a black male enter her vehicle and leave, travelling north on Highway 146. A stolen vehicle alert, with a description of the vehicle, was released to surrounding agencies.

While Texas City Police were still investigating the theft, a Dickinson Police Department officer saw the vehicle on I-45 North, exiting at FM 646. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle when it turned into a parking lot off the feeder road. Johnson refused to stop and the officer pursued him through the parking lot and back onto the highway, traveling north. The officer continued to pursue Johnson as he reached speeds of 100 to 120 mph. Johnson exited at Nasa Road 1, where Webster Police joined the pursuit. Through the course of the pursuit Johnson ran multiple red lights and recklessly drove through traffic. The chase ended when Johnson crashed head on into the bridge support at the underpass at I-45 and El Dorado Blvd. Officers had to break the vehicle windows to remove Johnson from the vehicle.

The jury heard closing arguments Tuesday morning and retired to deliberate. They returned with a guilty verdict shortly before noon, after deliberating for about an hour. The punishment phase began Tuesday afternoon. Johnson faced a punishment range of 2 to 10 years in prison for the Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle because of two felony enhancements: 2011 convictions for Evading Arrest and Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. For the Felony Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle Johnson faced a punishment range of 2 to 20 years because of one felony enhancement: a 2004 conviction for Burglary of a Habitation.

During the punishment phase, the State presented evidence of the 3 felony enhancement convictions and evidence that Johnson had an additional felony conviction from 1989 for vehicle theft. The jury was also shown that Johnson was on parole for the Burglary of a Habitation conviction when he committed the offenses. The jury deliberated for about 8 hours over two days before returning Wednesday afternoon with its verdict. The jury set Johnson’s punishment at 17 ½ years on the Felony Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle and 5 years on the Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Both sentences will run concurrently and will be served in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Johnson will have to serve at least one-fourth of his sentence before being eligible for parole.

Johnson was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Adam Poole in the 405th District Court, with Judge Michelle Slaughter presiding. The investigation was conducted by the Texas City Police Department and the Dickinson Police Department.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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