Man Sentenced to 42 Years for Felony
May 17, 2017
Today, Mark Anthony Gasaway, 31, was sentenced to 42 years in prison for felony
possession of methamphetamine.
arrested in early June 2016. On April 29, 2017, following a jury trial, the
State successfully secured a guilty verdict against Gasaway. He then elected to
have the court determine his punishment. At the punishment hearing on Monday,
May 15, 2017 the State presented evidence to the court why a tough sentence
should be imposed.
At the April
jury trial, officers testified that they were responding to a domestic
disturbance call in the city of Galveston. The assault victim told officers
that she had just been assaulted by her boyfriend and gave a description of
what he was wearing. While searching the area, officers made contact with
Gasaway, who was wearing clothing similar to the description given. While performing
a pat down, to check for weapons, Gasaway began to resist, twisting away from
the officer. Gasaway then fled the scene on foot. Officers gave chase and were
able to subdue Gasaway and take him into custody. While handcuffing Gasaway,
the arresting officer found a clear plastic baggie in his left hand. The baggie
contained multiple pills suspected of being a controlled substance. The pills
were sent to the Texas DPS Houston Crime lab for testing. Analysis of the pills
determined that the pills contained methamphetamine and had a total weight of
deliberated for about a total of four hours before returning with a guilty
verdict. The punishment hearing was then scheduled for May 15, 2017. Gasaway
faced a punishment range of 25 to 99 years, or Life, in prison because of two
prior felony convictions alleged in the indictment by the State.
hearing, the State introduced evidence showing the prior felonies alleged, a
2006 conviction for Sexual Assault of a Child and a 2013 conviction for Failure
to Register as a Sex Offender, were true. In addition, the State introduced
evidence that Gasaway has additional felony convictions for possession of a
controlled substance with intent to deliver and for conspiracy to possess a
controlled substance with intent to deliver, both in 2010. The State also
provided the court with evidence that Gasaway has a misdemeanor conviction for
Failure to Identify.
arguments, the court found both enhancements true and set Gasaway’s punishment
at 42 years in the Institutional Division of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice. Gasaway must serve at least one-fourth of his sentence before being
eligible for parole.
Gasaway was prosecuted by Assistant
District Attorneys Charlotte Kim and Anthony Smith in the 56th District Court,
with Judge Lonnie Cox presiding. The investigation was conducted by the
Galveston Police Department.