Man Who Assaulted Trooper Gets 19 Years, LIVINGSTON, July 18, 2013 - On July 16, 2013 Dennarious Cortes Banyon, 25, of Indianapolis, Indiana was sentenced to 19 years in prison for assaulting a Polk County Trooper on October 24, 2012. Banyon was being detained by Trooper Donny Akers on October 24, 2012. Akers had one cuff secured on Banyon, but Banyon swung around with the cuff attached to his wrist before Akers could finish cuffing him. When he swung around, he cut Akers' head with the hardened stainless steel device. A scuffle ensued with Akers having to keep one hand on his gun to keep Banyon from getting the gun. Banyon got away. He was caught weeks later in his home town and extradited back to Polk County. In May, Banyon was convicted in Judge Elizabeth Coker's 258th District Court. Banyon's sentencing was handed down in Judge Coker's Court.
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25 year old Dennarious Cortes Banyon (left) with his attorney, Mike Davis during court proceedings in District Judge, Elizabeth Coker's Court.
Man Guilty of Assaulting Polk County Trooper, LIVINGSTON, May 22, 2013 - The man who assaulted Trooper Donny Akers on October 24, 2012 went to trial today and was found guilty of assaulting a public servant. The trial took place in Judge Elizabeth Coker's 258th District Court. On October 24, 2012, Trooper Donny Akers with the Texas Highway Patrol initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Dennarius Cortes Banyon, 25, of Indianapolis, Indiana. The vehicle was reported as stolen. Trooper Akers charged Banyon with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Akers began putting the cuffs on Banyon. Akers successfully cuffed Banyon's left hand, but before he could cuff the right hand, Banyon pulled his hands away from Akers and swung around striking Akers in the head with the hand cuffs. Banyon struck Akers at least 2 more times. A struggle ensued and Banyon was able to get away. Trooper Allen Stanton who showed up to assist Akers gave chase to Banyon, but Banyon successfully evaded. A manhunt immediately got under way, but Banyon was not found. Banyon made it back to his home, but a local from his town tipped off police and Banyon was placed under arrest and extradited back to Polk County. Prosecutor Joe Martin argued that Banyon should be found guilty of aggravated assault of a public servant (as the hand cuffs were used as a weapon against Trooper Akers). Martin pointed out the cuffs locking mechanism has pointed teeth constructed of hardened stainless steel, and the injuries on Akers' head were in close proximity to his eyes (a cuff in the eye could cause loss of vision). Further, the cuffs could have struck Akers' teeth, or his temple.
Banyon's defense attorney, Mike Davis, argued that Banyon didn't use the cuffs as a weapon and that he was only trying to get away. He further stated that there was no way to tell if Akers' head wounds were from cuffs or from Banyon's hands. Judge Coker ruled that Banyon was guilty of assaulting a public servant but not aggravated assault of a public servant ("aggravated" meaning the use of a weapon). There is a difference, aggravated assault of a public servant is a first degree felony, while assault of a public servant is a third degree felony and carries a lesser punishment. Punishment phase for the trial is scheduled for sometime in July. Banyon is facing up to 10 years in prison, however, with his prior criminal history, there can possibly be more years tacked on.
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Trooper Donny Akers testifies in Judge Coker's court.
Bloodied but not deterred: Trooper Akers speaks with vehicle passenger Quintez Dewight Wilson, 23, of Indianapolis.
Trooper Stops Out of State Stolen Vehicle, Suspect Flees, SEVEN OAKS, October 24, 2012 - At 9:56 am on October 24, 2012, Trooper Donny Akers with the Texas Highway Patrol spotted a silver 2011 Mazda 6 speeding. Akers initiated a traffic stop and pulled the vehicle over in Seven Oaks. When Akers spoke with the driver, Dennarious Cortes Banyon, 25, of Indianapolis, Indiana, he noticed that Banyon was nervous, and that Banyon's two passengers (Quintez Dewight Wilson, 22, of Indianapolis and Anthony Depaul Evans, 29, of Indianapolis) were acting suspicious as well. Akers called for backup and was quickly backed up by Trooper Allen Stanton who was nearby. All three men were asked to step out of the car. The vehicle turned out to be reported stolen out of Indiana. Trooper Akers pulled the driver (Dennarious Banyon) aside to speak with him. Akers placed Banyon under arrest and put one cuff on but before he could get the other cuff on, Banyon swung the cuffs around striking Trooper Akers in the head. A struggle ensued with the two rolling down the embankment. Trooper Stanton came to assist Akers, but by now, Banyon had separated himself from Akers and fled, Banyon ran across the north-bound lanes of 59, then the south-bound lanes, and into the woods just north of the rest area in Seven Oaks. Wilson and Evans were detained without incident. Banyon managed to get enough distance between himself and the troopers to avoid being tazed. Banyon managed to avoid capture and at time of press (4:45 pm), remains at large. Akers found a bag containing marijuana inside. All threee vehicle occupants are being charged with possession of marijuana. In addition to possession, Dennarious Cortes Banyon is being charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and is possibly facing other charges. Blood Hounds from the local prison unit were summoned, as well as deputies from the Polk County Sheriff's Office, more troopers, and a DPS helicopter. The search remains in effect in the Leggett and Seven Oaks areas. The stolen vehicle was recovered by Ken's Towing and will be stored at the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Dennarious Cortes Banyon, 25, of Indianpolis, Indiana, is on the loose (most likely in the Leggett / Seven Oaks area).
Akers gets some assistance for Daniel Sangster with the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
The other passenger: Anthony Depaul Evans, 29, of Indianapolis.
Blood hounds were brought in from the Polunski prison unit.
Trooper Allen Stanton was nearby and came to assist Akers.
This 2011 Mazda 6 was reported stolen out of Indiana.
Akers got his head wounds checked by EMS personnel from Americare Ambulance Service.
Trooper Darwon Evans helped in the search for Dennarious Banyon.
The stolen vehicle was recovered by Ken's Towing.
Houdini looked mad...
...Mixi appeared frightened.
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