Man shot by officer last March sentenced to 10 years

Man pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, battery, resisting police

Booking photo of Devanta Jones
Booking photo of Devanta Jones

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old man shot four times by a Jacksonville police officer in March 2015 was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in jail.

Devanta Jones pleaded guilty to burglary, domestic battery, resisting police and depriving an officer of a means of protection.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Jones had several opportunities to comply and was shot after he wrestled the officer's Taser gun away and pointed it at the Cleveland Arms Apartments in Northwest Jacksonville.

According to JSO Director Tom Hackney, officers responded just before 9 a.m. to 911 calls about a woman being beaten at the complex. Hackney said Officer Mike McKinnley could hear the disturbance as he arrived and entered an apartment, and that he saw Jones on top of a woman, strangling her.

Although Jones initially complied with orders to stop and get off the victim, when a second officer, Clifford Sames, moved in to handcuff Jones, he resisted, authorities said. Hackney said McKinnley deployed his Taser at Jones, but missed, and Jones took off.

Sames gave chase and saw Jones kicking in the door of another apartment with a woman and three children inside, then running out the back door.

While running, Sames fired his Taser, but missed. Sames fired his Taser again and the probes struck, but when Sames approached to take Jones into custody, Jones struggled and wrestled Sames' Taser away and pointed it at the officer, Hackney said.

Hackney said that Sames then feared for his safety, pulled his handgun and fired six shots, hitting Jones four times. 

"Mr. Jones had multiple opportunities to comply," Hackney said. "Our first method of force that we used was a less lethal (method)."

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Jones was hit by four of the shots and was treated at UF Health Jacksonville.

Protesters in Northwest Jacksonville spoke out against a rash of police-involved shootings last year, including the one of Jones. They demanded the use of body cameras for Jacksonville police.