Police chase at 100 mph sends ex-con to prison for 99 years
The 28-year-old ex-con was sentenced to 99 years in prison for leading police on a high-speed chase following the robbery of a female student at Texas Christian University in Sept. 2011, CBS DFW reports.
The station reports that on Sept. 21, 2011, Castanuela was the get-away driver for his passenger, 30-year-old Cristian Jaimes, who attacked a TCU student near campus and stole her purse.
Castanuela was convicted by a jury Wednesday of robbery and evading arrest. He will concurrently serve the 99-year sentence on the evading charge and a 50-year sentence on the robbery charge.
"Jesse Castanuela's crimes endangered the safety of TCU's students," said Assistant District Attorney Mark Thielman in a press release. "His escape attempt risked the lives of the police officers as well as the motorists on some of the city's major streets. He has lived by no rules but his own. We appreciate the jury for holding him responsible."
Castanuela has previous convictions in Dallas and Tom Green Counties for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, indecency with a child, failure to register as a sex offender, and felony criminal mischief, CBS DFW reported.
According to the DA's office, the 2011 incident began when Castanuela pulled his Ford Escort behind two women walking towards campus. His accomplice, Jaimes, got out of the car and punched one of the women in the head. He then wrestled the purse away and jumped back in the vehicle.
A truckload of teenagers witnessed the attack, called 911 and pursued the suspects. Castanuela pulled over at one point to confront the good Samaritans.
Police attempted to stop Castanuela a short time later, but he sped off as officers approached the car.
For five-miles, Castanuela raced at speeds exceeding 100 mph. Police spiked the tires of his Escort, but Castanuela continued until he lost control after crashing into another motorist.
Jaimes was sentenced in July to 19 years in prison for stealing the woman's purse.