A Florida Keys judge sent an ex-convict back to prison for 20 years as punishment for shoving a Key West woman out of his truck in 2013 and running over her.
Kevin Ray Jones, 53, pleaded guilty to felony battery and robbery rather than risk trial on attempted murder for the attack that left a woman partially paralyzed.
Judge Wayne Miller gave Jones the maximum time allowed, given a sentencing range of 12 to 20 years in prison under the plea deal.
Stephanie Evans, who was 31 when she accepted Jones’ offer of a ride home on a rainy night from the Green Parrot bar, 601 Whitehead St., on Nov. 16, 2013, attended the court hearing in a wheelchair.
Although still dealing with pain, Evans has regained use of her legs after at first being paralyzed from the waist down from the attack, a recovery prosecutors called miraculous.
“She’s such an amazing person,” said Val Winter, an assistant state attorney who handled the case. “She was never really expected to walk again.”
Evans only used the wheelchair because it made it easier for her to get to the courthouse from a parking spot, Winter said.
Winter said nothing indicates Evans knew Jones before the night she accepted a ride home.
During that ride, Jones punched Evans in the face, knocking her unconscious, police said. When she came to, Jones grabbed her purse and shoved her out of the truck, running over her as he drove away.
Evans was left with a crushed spine. Jones wasn’t arrested until May 2014 when federal agents found him on the mainland.
Jones later said he did not intentionally run over her, but prosecutors initially charged him with attempted murder.
Jones, who gave state officials his home address of 309 Olivia St. in Key West when he was released from prison in 2009, was silent during his sentencing hearing Wednesday at the Monroe County Courthouse.
But Jones did give the judge a handwritten letter on yellow legal paper that wasn’t read aloud.
In 2002, Jones was convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon for ripping a woman’s purse from her arm in a Broward County rental car lot after he pointed a BB gun that resembled a 9 mm handgun at her temple.
But an appellate court reversed the conviction, finding prosecutors didn’t prove to the jury the BB gun was a deadly weapon.
Jones was resentenced to 10 years in 2004.
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen