Midland man sentenced to 35 years in prison for shooting at police officers

MIDLAND, Tx (NEWS RELEASE) -- Midland County District Attorney Laura Nodolf announced a 30-year-old Midland man was convicted of two counts of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant by Using a Deadly Weapon and sentenced to 35 years in prison on each count.

The trial of The State of Texas v. Jessie Martin Pena began on Monday, September 30, 2019.

The offense occurred on August 18, 2018, when officers responded to a residence on Ruby Drive for a disturbance with possible weapons.

As officers arrived, they encountered Pena leaving the residence. Pena ran from officers into the backyard. While attempting to climb over the back fence, he pointed a handgun toward the pursuing officers and fired a single shot.

Though officers fired two shots in response, no one was injured in the exchange of gunfire.

Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant by Using a Deadly Weapon is a first degree felony with a punishment range of 5 years to 99 years or life in prison.

Pena faced an enhanced punishment range of 15 years up to 99 years or life in prison due to two prior prison sentences on four different felony charges.

The jury deliberated just over an hour before finding Pena guilty of both counts of Aggravated Assault on a Public Servant by Using a Deadly Weapon.

After receiving evidence of Pena’s lengthy criminal history, Judge
Elizabeth Leonard sentenced Pena to 35 years in prison on each count.

The case was tried by Assistant District Attorney Kyle McCardle. The defendant was represented by Wayne Frost.