Larry Dale Smith was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday for fleeing from police and possessing met amphetamine.
Smith, 42, was convicted of evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance and assessed 20-year terms in each case. The terms will run concurrently.
Before his trial started, Smith pleaded guilty of evading arrest, but he denied the state’s contention that the car he drove as he fled police Lt. John Harper on Dec. 17 was a deadly weapon. Testimony showed that Smith ran several red lights and stop signs and narrowly missed colliding with several other vehicles, and jurors found that the car was a deadly weapon. That finding elevated the evading arrest charge from a state jail felony to a third degree felony.
The district attorney’s office sought a conviction of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, but jurors convicted him of the lesser offense of possession. That charge was elevated after District Attorney Micheal Murray introduced evidence that Smith had previously been convicted of robbery.
Punishment phase testimony showed that Brownwood police were interested in Smith after a convenience store robbery in November 2005. Police determined that Smith did not match the robber’s description, but he was found in the company of other people with criminal backgrounds, testimony showed.
The robbery remains unsolved.
On Dec. 17, Smith had a warrant for bail jumping, testimony showed. The bail jumping was in connection with another drug case. Smith, accompanied by his son, Joshua, and another man, Clayton Seale, drove a 1995 Mercury Marquis to a convenience store that Sunday afternoon.
Harper tried to stop the Mercury after seeing traffic violations on West Austin, and Smith sped away. The chase wound through downtown and ended on the Williams Ranch Road. Someone in the car threw a small container with met amphetamine out the window during the chase, testimony showed.