A 30-year-old Palestine man accused of assaulting a local police officer in August 2004 has pled guilty to a pair of offenses and been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

James William Allen, 30, of Palestine pled guilty to charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and resisting arrest with a deadly weapon last week before Third State District Judge Jim Parsons.

Allen was assessed 10 years on each conviction and those sentences will be served concurrently in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, according to Stanley Sokolowski, Anderson County assistant district attorney.

On Aug. 31, 2004, Palestine police have said officer Steven McDaniel stopped a Jeep Cherokee which had driven through the Woodside Village Apartments in the 2000 block of Sterne Avenue after recognizing a female passenger who had previously been issued a criminal trespass warning to stay away from the complex.

Allen, who was later identified as the vehicle’s driver, pulled over and did not have personal identification, according to police. A short time after the stop, the offender fled on foot into an adjacent wooded area.

McDaniel eventually caught Allen who continued to resist and fight the officer, Palestine Police Det. Larry Mars said at the time.

Allen subsequently gained an advantage over the officer, started to kick him and then attempted to remove the service weapon from his holster, according to Mars.

McDaniel dropped his duty flashlight during the struggle for control of his weapon, and Allen then used the light to administer “multiple strikes to the head and face” of the officer, the detective added.

McDaniel was not seriously injured and returned to work the following day, according to police.

Allen was apprehended and taken into custody five days later, according to records.

Aggravated assault on a public servant is a first-degree felony punishable by five-to-99 years or life in prison.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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