A 27-year-old Palestine man convicted in August of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon relating to a January 2004 shooting was sentenced to 75 years in prison Friday by a local state district judge.

After being found guilty of three charges in early August, Robin Eugene Oliver, 27, of Palestine failed to show during the late morning hours four weeks later after his sentencing hearing had been delayed.

Oliver was a fugitive from justice for almost three months before Palestine police arrested him inside a residence in the 600 block of South Fulton Street on Nov. 28 after receiving an anonymous tip.

On Aug. 4, an Anderson County jury had found Oliver guilty of three charges — aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; possession of a firearm by a felon; and possession of marijuana between 4 ounces and 5 pounds — in connection with the January 2004 shooting of Timothy Laban Owens in front of the same residence in the 600 block of South Fulton Street.

The same jury found Oliver not guilty on the charge of attempted murder.

Owens was left partially blind as a result of being sprayed with shotgun pellets, but authorities have indicated they believe one of Oliver’s three co-defendants was the person who fired the shots which injured the victim.

Authorities, however, have alleged that Oliver was armed during the commission of the offense and an active participant.

Despite Oliver’s absence, 349th State District Judge Pam Foster Fletcher conducted a punishment hearing and heard evidence from the state on Aug. 31, including information that the defendant had been previously convicted of a felony.

Fletcher, however, delayed Oliver’s formal sentencing until he was brought back into custody.

During Friday’s hearing, Fletcher ruled the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge be enhanced by one degree to a first-degree felony punishable by five-to-99 years or life in prison.

With roughly 20 law enforcement officers — about half of whom were uniformed — in the courtroom shortly after 12:15 p.m. Friday, Fletcher first sentenced Oliver to two years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on the marijuana possession charge and then 20 years in the TDCJ on the possession of a firearm by a felon charge.

On the most serious of the three charges, Fletcher then sentenced Oliver to 75 years on the aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.

Although Oliver did not appear to show any reaction to the judge’s pronouncement, the defendant’s mother cried out, “No, no, no” multiple times and had to be comforted by family members.

Oliver becomes the final of the four co-defendants in the Owens’ shooting to be adjudicated.

In March, Patrick Deon Davis, 33, of Palestine was sentenced to 40 years in the TDCJ after being found guilty of multiple charges, including attempted murder.

Lemarvin Gross, 33, of Palestine, whom authorities have alleged fired the shots which wounded Owens, pled to 10 years deferred adjudication last month after testimony in his trial had already begun.

Gross was on trial for attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The fourth defendant — Jeremiah Russell, 21, of Palestine — had earlier pled guilty to an unrelated charge.

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