Man who tried to steal ETX bus with students aboard gets 82 years
POSTED: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 10:26am
UPDATED: Monday, June 23, 2014 - 1:32pm
Palestine, Texas (KETK) — A man convicted of trying to steal a Palestine ISD school bus full of students was sentenced by an Anderson County jury to 80 years in prison Tuesday.
Cedrick B. Lewis, 31, was convicted on 20 of 30 counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to 80 years on each count of kidnapping; those sentences will run concurrently. The suspect will serve an additional two years for the motor vehicle conviction. He was also fined a total of $210,000.
According to Assistant District Attorney Scott Holden and Assistant District Attorney Erica Morgan, the state asked for no less than 50 years, but the jury sent a message with 80 years on each count.
"We're very proud of the jury who wanted to send a message we don't want anyone threatening the children and placing them at risk," said Holden.
The aggravated kidnapping charges were enhanced from a second to first-degree felony, due to the criminal's prior arrest history.
Back on December 18, 2012, at around 8:00 a.m., Lewis hopped on a school bus at the Timber Crest Apartments and attempted to drive away. Police believe he made the move after he was involved in a fight at the complex.
An alert school bus driver, who was helping a student get seated, approached the suspect and was able to subdue him with the help of an apartment maintenance employee and an off-duty corrections officer. Police arrived and arrested Lewis, then booked him into the Anderson Count Jail.