VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A man who threw a 3-year-old over a fence when he was trying to get away from the cops will spend time behind bars.
Devonte Johnson threw his girlfriend’s three year old over a fence when he was trying to make his getaway back in October 2015.
He was sentenced Tuesday by a judge in Virginia Beach to seven years in prison, but five years will be suspended so he will serve a total of two years behind bars for three felonies, two counts of child neglect and one eluding charge.
The incident started off as speeding violation on I-64 but quickly spiraled out of control.
The 23-year-old is accused going about 100 miles an hour in a 45 mile per hour zone while leading police on a chase before crashing into a home near Pepper Mill Place.
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According to a Stipulation of Facts filed with the case, Johnson grabbed the child from the back seat and started running after being ordered to stop.
A trooper said Johnson threw the child over the fence using a motion similar to a “basketball free throw.”
Several people who lived near where the crash happened them took action to try to comfort the child, giving him a blanket and toys, saying he visibly looked upset during the ordeal.
“The child looked terrified. He was actually in the cop’s arms, looks like he was hugging him pretty tight,” said Patrick Fancy who lives nearby.
Records state a trooper took Johnson to the ground after the child was on the other side of the fence and said he continued to fight and get away.
Johnson dated the little boy’s mother and was watching him while the mother was at work.
The little boy was taken to the hospital and had a bloody nose and swelling to the head but was okay, according to court records.
Relatives told News 3 during a previous hearing that Johnson never physically hurt the boy in the past.
The Commonwealth asked for a higher than the recommended sentence which is between one year and two years and eight months.
The judge ruled in the middle of the recommended sentence – Johnson could have faced a maximum of 15 years.