Shoplifter who tried to run over officer gets 10 years in prison

police hat, badge, cuffsMEMPHIS — A shoplifter who was wounded when he tried to run over a Bartlett police officer while trying to escape in 2013 has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated assault, Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich announced on Friday, Dec. 4.

Tavarius Jones, 39, also pleaded guilty to theft over $500 and was sentenced to four years to be served concurrently.

On Aug. 30, 2013, Jones and two companions were seen slipping small items of merchandise into hidden pockets sewn inside their pants at the Walmart store at 8400 U.S. 64, Bartlett.

Store security officers alerted police and the suspects piled into their car, with Jones at the wheel. Bartlett motorcycle officer Grant Young, who was taking a traffic report nearby, arrived and ordered Jones to stop. Instead, Jones drove straight at the officer, hitting him with the vehicle multiple times. Witnesses said a passenger in the vehicle was urging Jones to run over the officer.

fired back with six shots, hitting Jones three times in the right arm.

Two codefendants, Harold Thompson, 41, and Damien Hollis, 36, are facing the same charges. Their cases are pending.

Jones entered an Alford plea in the aggravated assault case, denying the details in the charge but conceding that he likely would be convicted in trial. It has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.

The case was handled by Assistant D.A. attorney Sam Winnig.