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Driver who struck Constable Johnston sentenced

The driver who ran down a Liberty County Constable has been found guilty of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer and sentenced to an 8-year-probated sentence. It was back in February of 2017 that Precinct #1 Constable Justin Johnston was struck by a vehicle while standing on the shoulder of Hwy 146, directing traffic just south of FM 1413 at the Park n Ride. As reported, the driver, 39-year-old Samuel Leyva of Cleveland drove up on the shoulder and struck Constable Johnston. The Precinct #1 Constable was transported from the scene in critical condition and a long recovery period has followed. Testimony in Leyva’s trial began Monday in the 253rd District Court with Visiting Judge Carolyn Marks Johnson hearing the case after District Judge Chap Cain recused himself from the trial. Samuel Leyva opted to have his case tried before the judge, rather than a jury. On Tuesday, Samuel Leyva was found guilty of Aggravated Assault on a Peace Officer. Judge Johnson sentenced the Cleveland man to an 8-year probated sentence.  As part of that sentence Leyva will have to serve 30 days in the Liberty County Jail on weekends. Also, if Leyva can discharge 6 of the 8 years of his suspended sentence he can avoid going to prison. It should be noted that the investigation into the crash found no evidence of drug or alcohol use by Leyva. Again, Samuel Leyva was found guilty of running down Liberty County Constable Justin Johnston and sentenced to 8 years probation.           

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