HOUSTON – A suspect currently being sought for shooting at Precinct 4 Constable’s deputies and wounding an innocent bystander Friday, was given deferred adjudication, after wounding a man in a robbery last December.
Devin Banks, 19, was on probation at the time of the incident Friday
Banks and two other men allegedly fired shots from a moving car at two deputies who were parked near the intersection of Gears Rd. & Walters Rd in northwest Harris County on Nov. 9. A stray bullet hit a 52-year-old woman who was sitting at a nearby bus stop. She was hospitalized and is in stable condition, according to authorities.
Three men ran from the car, according to law enforcement. Pascal Okadigwe, 19, was overpowered by police and arrested, while Cristian Lloyd, 21, fled on foot and assaulted a woman in an attempt to take her car before being overtaken by pursuing officers, authorities said.
“He is a violent individual. He is considered to be armed and dangerous,” Pct. 4 Constable Mark Hermann said.
When Banks is recaptured, he's not likely to be back on the street for a very long time.
Because he violated probation, he can be ordered to serve the maximum sentence for aggravated assault, up to 20 years in prison, with no chance of appeal.
But for now, he is considered armed and dangerous, and still on the street.
It’s not the first time Banks has been involved in a shooting. He was already on probation for wounding a man during a robbery last December outside the Flying J Travel Center in the 15,900 block of North Freeway.
Banks didn’t get jail time in that case. Instead, he was granted deferred adjudication, a plea deal in which prosecutors reduced the aggravated robbery charge he was facing to aggravated assault; and agreed to give him 5 years probation with the promise his criminal record would be amended if he successfully completed probation.
Deferred adjudication is rarely offered to violent offenders.
“ Here we are less than a year later we have the same similar activity, except this time he’s shooting at police and this time an innocent bystander is struck,” Constable Herman said.
State District Judge Kelli Johnson, a former prosecutor, approved Banks plea. Judge Johnson told us judicial ethics prevent her from discussing the case.
The assistant district attorney who signed the order of deferred adjudication, Casey Little, was unable to explain exactly what went into the decision to grant deferred adjudication.
Channel 2 legal analyst Brian Wice says every case is different and that a judge or prosecutors worst nightmare is putting an offender in a position to offend again.
“This is a situation where this judge had access to a pre-sentence investigation and information none of us had access to. This may have been the exception rather than the rule.” Wice said.