DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Precinct 1 Constable Derick Evans was sentenced to two years probation and a $10,000 fine for engaging in organized criminal activity, a Dallas County jury ruled Monday.
It took less than an hour for them to find Evans guilty of running an illegal raffle for six years to raise money for his campaign. It took the jury a half hour for them to reach a sentence. The defense filed an appeal, which allows Evans to hold his elected position until a hearing on July 23. He is barred from the precinct until after the hearing.
In addition to the maximum $10,000 penalty, Evans also faced two years in jail.
Evans declined comment this afternoon as he left the courtroom while jurors consider his penalty. His attorney, Michael Todd, says the money was intended as a donation.
Prosecutors argued, and some of Evans’ deputies claimed in trial, that they were coerced into selling raffle tickets under the threat of retaliation. Prosecutors say Evans retaliated against deputies who refused to volunteer for his reelection.
Evans took the stand in his own defense, and denied he used an illegal raffle to raise money. Evans’s attorney said the deputies who testified against the Constable had grudges against him.
Todd asked jurors this afternoon to give Evans probation, citing his 30 years in law enforcement.
This was the second trial for Evans. The first one ended in a mistrial last December. Now, Dallas County Commissioners will have to fill the elected position temporarily. Evans is in Commissioner John Wiley Price’s district.
Price is under federal investigation for bribery and money laundering, among other crimes. He has not been charged.
Calls to Price’s office requesting comment about Evans’ conviction have not been returned.