A man who caused a serious accident while fleeing from police received a 60-year prison sentence last week during a proceedings of the 46th Judicial District Court of Wilbarger County.
Joseph Daniel Ramirez, 32, of Vernon, was sentenced to 60 years in prison following his plea of guilty to evading arrest with a motor vehicle. On October 14, 2018, a Vernon police officer noted Ramirez travelling down Paradise Street in a Dodge pickup.
The officer knew that Ramirez had an outstanding parole warrant and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Ramirez then began evading the officer at high speeds through residential areas of the city.
During the pursuit, Ramirez ran through stop signs and reached speeds up over 70 miles per hour heading east on Yamparika Street. The Vernon police officer involved in the pursuit maintained reasonable speeds and followed Ramirez at a distance.
At the corner of Yamparika and Violet Street, Ramirez’s vehicle slammed into the side of a Nissan that was attempting to cross Yamparika. Data recovered from the pickup’s black box demonstrated that Ramirez was traveling at 65 miles per hour two seconds before the collision.
The Dodge pickup then crashed into the side of a residence located on Violent Street before spinning completely around and coming to rest facing west. When the officer reached the scene, bystanders told her that Ramirez had taken off on foot.
He was apprehended a few blocks away. The driver of the Nissan had to be extracted with the jaws of life but fortunately only suffered a broken tibia. The passenger in the Nissan suffered a broken right arm. T
his was not Ramirez first attempt to run from police. In 2016, he led a DPS trooper on a chase for several miles on US Hwy 183. On that occasion, speeds reached up to 125 miles per hour before Ramirez almost lost control of his vehicle and pulled to the side of the road.
Ramirez received a three-year prison sentence on that occasion. Ramirez has four other felony convictions and two additional misdemeanor convictions for evading arrest. Ramirez was represented by Sage Seal of Childress.
“Ramirez put several people’s lives at risk with his actions,” stated Assistant District Attorney Jon Whitsitt. “It was only by the grace of God that the people in the vehicle that he hit weren’t seriously injured. We take repeat offenders very seriously in our office and I think this sentence reflects that.”
Quinnon Dashawn Camacho-Bumpus, 27, of Vernon, was sentenced to thirteen years in prison for indecency with a child by contact and to ten years in prison for possession of child pornography following his pleas of guilty. On November 13, 2018, a Vernon woman became suspicious and started looking through her husband’s phone. She saw several revealing photos of her nine year old daughter that were taken while her daughter was asleep the night before. The woman immediately took all the children, left the house, and contacted police. The defendant admitted to police that he had taken the photos but denied any sexual assault. The child involved was asleep during the event and told forensic interviewers that nothing of a similar nature had happened to her previously. Bumpus was represented by Michael Valverde of Wichita Falls.
Kyler Davion McGee, 19, of Vernon, was sentenced to probation for a period of ten years following his plea of guilty to sexual assault. In addition, McGee will be required to spend the next 120 days in jail followed by six months to two years in an intermediate sanctions facility operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. On April 20, 2018, the Wilbarger County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a sexual assault that had occurred the day before. The victim, 14 years old at the time, had invited McGee to her home around 11:00pm. McGee climbed into her bedroom window. The victim told McGee that she did not want to have sex but McGee held her down and sexually assaulted her. As a result of the conviction, McGee will be required to register as a sex offender. He was also represented by Valverde.
Christina Magelene Smith Nava, 44, of Vernon, was sentenced to ten months in state jail following her plea of guilty to possession of a controlled substance. On June 8, 2018, a Vernon police officer saw Nava walking on Marshall Street in an apparently intoxicated state. An officer pulled over and asked to talk to Nava. She agreed. During the course of the encounter, the officer noted several indications of intoxication. Nava admitted to having used methamphetamine in the past but claimed not to currently be using. The officer asked Nava for consent to search but before the search could begin, Nava admitted to the officer that she had a pipe and methamphetamine. She was represented by Rick Bunch of Wichita Falls.
The cases were prosecuted by the 46th Judicial District Attorney’s office while District Judge Dan Mike Bird presided over the hearings and assessed the sentences.