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Palestine man receives max sentence for assault on public servant, attempted burglary

ANDERSON CO., January 14, 2014— According to Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, Lance Wayne Pernell, age 31, of Palestine, was sentenced on January 10, by Judge Bascom W. Bentley to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice after pleading true to his probation violations on 2 counts of Assault on a Public Servant and 1 count of Attempted Burglary of a Habitation. Both offenses are 3rd degree felonies which carry a range of between 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The police reports indicate that on May 26, 2009, Anderson County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ronnie Foster and Deputy Chris Crowley responded to a 911 call that someone was attempting to break into a residence in Elkhart, Texas. The complainants had fired a shot through their door in an attempt to deter the burglar but to no avail. According to the complainants, the suspect was still on the property running into the walls, doors and windows attempting to gain entry. Upon the officers’ arrival, Pernell attempted to gain entry into Foster’s patrol vehicle. Crowley ordered Pernell to show his hand and get on the ground but Pernell charged Crowley instead. As Crowley retreated, Foster was able to take Pernell to the ground were a struggle ensued. During the struggle, Pernell bit Foster on the finger and struck Crowley and Foster in the head. Pernell was also threatening to get the deputies’ guns and kill them. Eventually Foster and Crowley were able to get Pernell under control.

Pernell entered an open plea of guilty to all 3 counts on July 16, 2010. The Judge Pam Foster Fletcher accepted Pernell’s plea, ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for a later date. On April 4, 2011, Judge Fletcher sentenced Pernell to 10 years TDCJ on 1 count of Assault on a Public Servant and 10 years TDCJ, probated for 10 years on the other count of Assault on a Public Servant and the count of Attempted Burglary of a Habitation. On September 16, 2011, Judge Fletcher granted Pernell’s application for shock probation. Appellant then went to the state’s Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility (SAFPF) for drug rehab. After his release from SAFPF, Pernell continued to use illegal narcotics that led to his revocation.

Initially, Pernell was represented by Melvin and Stuart Whitaker. Bill House represented Pernell during his revocation hearing. The State was represented by Mr. Lowe and First Assistant District Attorney Stanley Sokolowski. Sokolowski said that he appreciates the Sheriff’s Office as well as all law enforcement officers who daily put their lives on the line to protect the citizens of Anderson County. He is also pleased that someone with the violent nature of Pernell is locked away for the maximum amount allowed.

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