Smith County Judge Kerry Russell sentenced a Tyler man to life in prison on Friday for ramming the head of a Tyler police officer into a brick wall and causing the policeman permanent injury one year ago.
Webb, who was charged with aggravated assault of a public servant, and manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone, received an additional 40-year sentence for the drug charge, Vance said. That 40-year sentence will be stacked on top of the aggravated assault of a public servant sentence, Vance said.
Tyler Police Officer William Steinmiller stopped Webb in front of Caldwell Elementary School on Front Street and College Avenue in March 2011. He learned that Webb was wanted on multiple felony warrants for drug charges.
Steinmiller testified that as he tried to take Webb into custody, Webb tried to grab Steinmiller’s gun and the two fought. Steinmiller said Webb slammed Steinmiller’s head into a brick wall next to a business where the traffic stop took place.
Steinmiller testified in March that he still suffers from pain and can no longer carry his young children.
In his March closing statements, Vance told the judge that Webb said on the police dash video that he “almost got Steinmiller.”
Vance argued that the only reason Webb had used the brick wall was to inflict death or serious bodily injury on Steinmiller.
Defense attorney Greg Waldron said in his closing statements at the March trial that the defense was not trying to minimize the assault on Steinmiller.
“The issue is whether we had a serious bodily injury and to see if the brick wall was a deadly weapon,” Waldron said to Russell.
Waldron argued that Webb’s intent was to flee the scene.
“Webb ran to get back past Steinmiller and a wrestling match ensued,” Waldron said.
“We had bodily injury, but not serious bodily injury. Officer Steinmiller is back at work full time, riding a motorcycle full time,” Waldron said to the judge.