A Douglas County judge Monday sentenced a 21-year-old Lawrence man to serve more than five years in prison for injuring a Lawrence police officer in a February incident.
District Judge Kay Huff ordered the sentence for Louis G. Galloway Jr. in front of a packed courtroom full of about 30 Lawrence police officers and detectives.
“The court will sentence Mr. Galloway to the aggravated sentence of 69 months in light of the permanent injury to Officer (Jonathon) Evinger,” Huff said.
A jury in May convicted Galloway of punching and injuring Evinger in a Feb. 26 confrontation near 26th and Iowa streets. According to testimony at the two-day trial, Evinger and another officer, Stephen Ramsdell, were trying to arrest Galloway for driving on a suspended license. Galloway disputed that he was driving.
Evinger said in court that he has internal eye injuries that will never allow him to patrol again at night.
“This is an injury that greatly affects my career and everyday life outside of work,” Evinger said.
During a lengthy statement from Galloway that his defense attorney Michael Clarke read, the defendant briefly apologized to Evinger and his own family but also accused officers of profiling him because his father, Louis Galloway Sr., is in prison.
“I'm going to dislike the law even more and throw my life away easily,” Galloway Jr. said. “You can't put me in prison and expect a better person.”
Clarke asked Huff to sentence Galloway to serve a maximum 62 months in prison, and Clarke said Galloway could get treatment in prison for anger management and other issues.
But prosecutors had sought the 69-month sentence plus an additional three years in jail on three misdemeanor convictions related to the incident.
“He's here, if you would believe him, for every reason except for his own actions,” said David Melton, a chief assistant district attorney. “And that’s exactly why he's here, your honor. He's here because on the night in question he turned what should have been a minor, run-of-the-mill traffic stop into an incident where Officer Evinger was seriously injured.”
Huff did allow Galloway to serve his time for the misdemeanors while he was serving his prison sentence.