PARKER COUNTY –– A Fort Worth man who crashed after a high speed chase with Willow Park Police officers on Interstate 20 was convicted of evading arrest and sentenced to 50 years in prison on Wednesday in a Parker County District Court.
The evidence used against 49-year-old Eli Vernon III includes dash cam videos from police. The videos show officers trying to stop Vernon's car on the interstate last November. The chase crossed the Parker/Tarrant county line with speeds of up to 107 miles per hour. Vernon is seen weaving in and out of traffic coming dangerously close to other drivers.
Nearly six minutes into the chase, Vernon lost control trying to get around another vehicle. His car crossed three lanes of traffic and struck a median. He then bounced back into traffic, spinning in front of several drivers. Vernon then hits the median again and crashed into light pole. No one was injured.
Vernon has a lengthy criminal history including convictions for four robberies, two drug possession charges, one drug distribution case and burglary of a vehicle.
Prosecutors presented those prior convictions to the jury during the punishment phase. The jury found that the chase could have caused death or serious bodily injury. Vernon will not be eligible for parole until 2038.