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Special to The Sun—
PANHANDLE – Two men were convicted and sentenced to prison in separate cases in the 100th Judicial District Courtroom at the Carson County Courthouse on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Daniel Lee Stevens, 34 from Amarillo, was convicted and sentenced to five years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ for the third-degree felony offense of evading arrest with a motor vehicle.
Carson County Chief Deputy J.C. Blackburn arrested Stevens for the offense that took place on Aug. 21, 2017. Stevens was later indicted by the Carson County Grand Jury on Oct. 26, 2017. Stevens was originally placed on community supervision when he pleaded guilty on June 3, 2019. He was placed on eight years of deferred adjudication.
The State filed its motion to adjudicate on June 11, alleging six violations of community supervision. Stevens pleaded not true to all of the allegations. The State called two witnesses, Micah Melton and Blackburn, during its case in chief. Melton, the probation officer responsible for Stevens’ supervision while on probation, testified regarding his failure to abide by certain conditions of his probation. Blackburn testified to the circumstances surrounding Stevens’ 2017 arrest, as well as Stevens’ attempt to falsify a probation-required drug test in July.
After hearing the evidence, Messer found that Stevens had violated the terms of his community supervision, fully and finally convicted him of the third-degree felony offense of evading arrest with a motor vehicle and sentenced him to five years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ. In addition to the prison sentence, Stevens was ordered to pay $276 in court costs.
In a separate case, Stevens pleaded true and was convicted for the third-degree felony offense of evading arrest with a motor vehicle and was sentenced to five years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ. Messer ordered the five-year prison sentence in this case be served consecutively to the five-year prison sentence from Stevens’ first case.
Panhandle Police Officer J.P. Richey arrested Stevens on Oct. 8, 2018. Stevens was later indicted by the Carson County Grand Jury on March 19, 2019. Stevens pleaded guilty to this offense on the same date in the first case.
The state filed its motion to adjudicate on June 11, alleging eight violations of community supervision. In this case, Stevens pleaded true to all of the allegations. Stevens is required to pay an $8,000 fine to Carson County and $276 in court costs. Since Messer ordered that Stevens’ prison sentences be served consecutively, the second five-year prison sentence will not begin to run until the first five-year prison sentence is completed. Pursuant to Texas law characterizing a vehicle used while evading arrest as a deadly weapon, Stevens will be required to serve at least 50 percent of each sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Justin Edward Hedger, 28 from Springtown, pleaded true and was convicted for the second-degree felony offense of possession of marihuana and sentenced to 10 years in the Institutional Division of the TDCJ.
DPS Trooper Kendall Styles arrested Hedger on Aug. 15, 2017. Hedger pleaded guilty to an information filed by the State on Oct. 25, 2017.
The state filed its motion to adjudicate on July 2, 2018, alleging six violations of community supervision. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Hedger is required to pay a $4,000 fine to Carson County and $336 in court costs.
Luke Inman, District Attorney for the 100th Judicial District along with Assistant District Attorney Harley Caudle prosecuted the case for the State of Texas with the Honorable Judge Stuart Messer presiding.