PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

May 1, 2009

PA man sentenced to 70 years over assault rifle attack

Shawn Donnell Jones, 32, last known address 1642 Village East, No. 141 in Port Arthur, was sentenced Friday to a term of 70 years in the state penitentiary in connection with a 2006 aggravated assault that ended in a car chase after an accident with now deceased rapper Pimp C.

Two Port Arthur men had been watching a music video being shot on the west side of the city. As they drove away from the scene, gunfire erupted and their rear windshield was shattered by a round from an SKS assault rifle fired by Jones.

A chase began at that point, with Jones following the victims and firing at them several times, riddling their car with at least six shots. The assault only ended when the victims’ car ran into Pimp C’s car at an intersection. Police escorting the rap star immediately gave chase and captured Jones and his accomplice Joseph Paul Smith, who was driving while Jones was firing.

Evidence included gripping video footage of the chase, and Jones’ fingerprints on a partially empty box of bullets and a clip from the assault rifle, both of which had been thrown from the car during the chase. In the punishment phase of the trial, there was also proof of Jones’ nineteen previous criminal convictions, along with ninety incidents of misconduct while incarcerated.

Prosecutor Pat Knauth said, “We were most gratified by the jury verdict against a chronic offender who has been a terror in the city of Port Arthur for years. Who knows who else might have been injured or killed by his actions if the police hadn’t been right on top of this situation?”

Jones must serve at least 30 years of his sentence before he can be considered for parole. Another aggravated assault charge is pending, and is scheduled for trial on Monday, May 4.

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