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Jury sentences 'habitual felon' to 75 years in prison

David Gonzales
Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 13:30:02-05

WACO, Texas — A McLennan County jury has found David Gonzales guilty of evading arrest in a motor vehicle. The jury sentenced him to 75 years in prison, the McLennan County District Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday.

In Texas, evading arrest in a motor vehicle with prior convictions normally carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, but the DA's office said prosecutors enhanced Gonzales' punishment range to 25 years to life due to prior felony convictions and prison sentences.

"David Gonzales has proven time and again that he a danger to this community. This sentence reflects accountability for not only this crime, but his entire criminal career. Our community will not tolerate repeated disregard for public safety," the prosecution said in a statement.

On Feb. 6, 2020, prosecutors said an off-duty Baylor police officer saw a car run a red light at Lakeshore Drive and MLK Blvd. in Waco. The officer noticed the car's passenger door was open as it was driving.

Officers with the McLennan Community College and Waco Police departments responded to the off-duty officer's call of assistance. Police conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle and saw Gonzales was the passenger.

During the traffic stop, prosecutors said Gonzales leaned over and started the car's ignition, then hit the accelerator with his hand and sped off.

Officers said they did not immediately pursue the car due to a public safety concern.

Before Gonzales fled, prosecutors said one of the officers obtained his wallet which police used to identify him.

He was later arrested and charged.

During the trial, prosecutors showed evidence of seven prior felony convictions and 12 misdemeanor convictions from Gonzales with charges including: domestic violence, robberies, unlawful possession of a firearm, aggravated assault, and possession of a deadly weapon in a penal institution.

The prosecution also called in a testimony from a gang expert to show evidence that Gonzales was a member of the Tango Blast prison gang.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Kristi DeCluitt and Christian Spendlove.