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Galveston Man Sentenced to 42 Years for Felony Drug Possession
Galveston County District Attorney

Man Sentenced to 42 Years for Felony Drug Possession

May 17, 2017

GALVESTON – Today, Mark Anthony Gasaway, 31, was sentenced to 42 years in prison for felony possession of methamphetamine.

Gasaway was 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 1.47 grams.

The jury 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.

During the 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.

After hearing 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.