Federal Jury Convicts Felon Who Escaped From Federal Custody and Shot Up Grand Prairie Apartment Complex

DALLAS — Following a six-day trial before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, a federal jury has convicted Alvin Christopher Penn, 28, for escaping from federal custody in Hutchins, Texas and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.

Penn is scheduled to be sentenced on December 3, 2018. He faces a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for the felon-in-possession charge and five years’ imprisonment for the escape charge.

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During the course of the trial, the jury heard evidence that Penn was serving a sentence for a federal conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. As a part of his federal sentence, Penn was assigned by the Bureau of Prisons to serve out the end of his sentence at a residential re-entry center in Hutchins, Texas.

On July 6, 2017, Penn was permitted to leave the residential reentry center to go to work in Fort Worth, Texas. However, instead of going to work, Penn went to an apartment complex in Grand Prairie. Penn accepted a loaded firearm from a family member and shot several rounds at two men, which started a shootout throughout the apartment complex. Penn took the firearm with him as he drove away from the apartment complex.

A police officer observed Penn driving a vehicle in Grand Prairie that matched the description of the suspected shooter’s vehicle and began following Penn. Penn attempted to evade the officer and engaged in a high-speed chase through a residential neighborhood, achieving speeds of 70-80 miles per hour. Penn lost control of the vehicle, drove through a fence of another apartment complex, and crashed into a building. After crashing the vehicle, Penn took the gun with him, brandished it at a bystander, and threw the firearm over the fence before fleeing from police. He did not return to his residential reentry center and was apprehended approximately a month later.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Grand Prairie Police Department investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamie L. Hoxie and Marcus Busch are prosecuting the case.

Source: FBI North Texas Field Office

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