A Modesto man who once ran from the Stanislaus Superior Courthouse to avoid jail has been sentenced to prison for a drunk driving crash, failing to appear in court and violating probation.
On May 15, Judge Thomas Zeff sentenced Paul Mark Freeman, 42, to serve 8 years and 4 months in prison, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office announced in a news release Monday. After a three-day trial that ended March 8, a jury found Freeman guilty of felony driving under the influence.
Last week's sentencing also included convictions of felony failing to appear in court and violating probation from a previous felony conviction. Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hogan prosecuted the case.
In May 2012, Freeman was convicted of felony DUI causing great bodily injury, according to prosecutors. The judge sentenced Freeman to serve five years of probation, which included a court order not to drink alcohol.
About 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2015, the Modesto Police Department responded to a report of a crash in the 400 block of Wilson Avenue in Modesto's La Loma neighborhood.
Prosecutors said witnesses identified Freeman as the man driving a speeding vehicle through the residential neighborhood and hitting a parked car. Freeman reportedly showed signs of being under the influence of alcohol.
Freeman's blood alcohol content was 0.35 percent, more than four times the limit of .08 percent, according to prosecutors. Freeman was charged with felony DUI driving under the influence case, and the prosecution sought a violation of probation charge on his 2012 DUI conviction.
On Jan. 17, 2016, Freeman arrived at the courthouse and learned the District Attorney's Office would be asking the court to order Freeman into jail custody while he awaited prosecution on his latest DUI case. Prosecutors said Freeman ran from the courthouse and wasn't captured by authorities until May 2016.
Prosecutors now filed a felony charge of failing to appear in court against Freeman. He pleaded guilty to that charge on March 29.
Freeman on Monday remained in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail, where he awaits transfer to prison.