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Stories Added - April 2010
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McGowan gets 30 years for attempt to run over police
Polk County Enterprise
LIVINGSTON — A 21-year-old Livingston man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on April 13 in the 258th District Court for four counts of aggravated assault on a public servant stemming from a series of events on Dec. 31, 2009 during which he attempted to run over law enforcement officers pursuing him after an armed robbery of a fastfood restaurant in Porter. Ray McGowan is accused of carjacking a vehicle in Harris County and driving to Porter in Montgomery County and robbing the restaurant at gunpoint. As he was fleeing the scene of the armed robbery, a police officer attempted to pull him over and McGowen refused to stop, according to a statement released by Polk County Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones. McGowen evaded the arrest, traveling on Highway 59 until he arrived in Polk County. Officers with the Splendora Police Department, Patton Village Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Livingston Police Department and Polk County S h e r i f f ’s O f f i c e f o l l o w e d McGowen o n t o C e m e t e r y Hill where he turned onto Liberty S t r e e t , according to Jones. O f f i c e r s were able to box McGowen in, but McGowen still refused to get out of his vehicle. As officers approached McGowen on foot, he attempted to run over the four officers attempting to apprehend him. The officers, fearing for their safety, shot at the vehicle, striking it several times. However, McGowen was able to drive off and turn onto Highway 146. Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Livingston Police Department located McGowen on Mimosa where he abandoned his vehicle and a short foot chase ensued. McGowen was captured and arrested. A Polk County Grand Jury indicted McGowen on four counts of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant, a first degree felony, for attempting to run over the four officers. He was also indicted on one count of evading arrest, a state jail felony. After plea negotiations, Jones recommended a 30-year sentence in prison for the charges of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant and a two-year sentence in state jail, the maximum allowed for evading arrest. District Judge Elizabeth Coker approved the sentencing recommendation on April 13. McGowen will have to serve half of the 30-year sentence before becoming eligible for parole.