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Habitual Offender Gets 25-Year Prison Sentence

(RICHMOND) – Fort Bend County Judge Tameika Carter has sentenced a 44-year-old Simonton man to 25 years in prison as a habitual offender. Walter Jerome Gamble was convicted of a felony evading in a motor vehicle charge by a jury earlier this year and elected for the judge to assess his punishment.

Walter Jerome Gamble

According to the evidence, Fulshear Police Officer Michael Schoof pulled Gamble over for driving with a headlamp out on Feb. 1, 2021, around 2 a.m. Schoof noticed significant damage to the defendant’s vehicle and upon running the license plate the vehicle came back as stolen.

Schoof waited for another officer to arrive before approaching the defendant. When he asked Gamble to step out of the vehicle, the defendant fled in the stolen car at a high rate of speed. Schoof and Sgt. Roach pursued Gamble as he accelerated in excess of 100 miles per hour on FM 359 towards Brookshire. The defendant maintained his high rate of speed, turning east on I-10 towards Katy, with multiple police vehicles in pursuit.

While on the access road to I-10, Gamble lost control of his vehicle, impacting concrete road barriers, but still did not slow down or attempt to stop. The defendant’s back right tire came apart as he exited 1-10 onto Woods Road, hurtling past multiple semi-trailer trucks parked along the roadway. Gamble finally lost control of his vehicle after turning on Twinwood Parkway and crashing into a telephone pole guidewire. He jumped out of his vehicle, crossed a barbwire fence, and ran from officers into a field.

Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the high-speed chase, including Fulshear PD, Brookshire PD, Waller County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Bend Sheriff’s Office, Katy PD and Texas DPS. Law enforcement surrounded the field, and with the help of a Texas DPS helicopter, they located the defendant and took him into custody. A subsequent search of Gamble’s vehicle discovered methamphetamine and a large amount of drug paraphernalia.

Police captured the entirety of the high-speed chase, covering more than eight miles, on video.

“The jury reached their verdict in only an hour and several jurors told us afterwards that they appreciated the professionalism of the officers,” said lead prosecutor Chris Ludwig. “Even after this defendant led them on an 8-mile high-speed chase, endangering both them and other drivers on the roadway, they still treated the defendant with dignity and concern for his health after he was apprehended.”

Gamble had more than a dozen prior convictions, including several felonies, some of which were violent offenses. Evading with a motor vehicle is a third-degree felony, but as a habitual offender, the punishment range in this case is 25 to 99 years, or life, in prison. The case was tried in the 400th District Court by Assistant District Attorneys Chris Ludwig and Melanie Rozbicki.

“Habitual criminal conduct is a burden and a pestilence to our society,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Habitual offenders who are prosecuted in Fort Bend County should expect to receive a punishment proportionate to the harm they have created. Justice was served in Mr. Gamble’s case and he will no longer be able to threaten our civility.”


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