An Arlington man who fought professionally as a mixed martial artist was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for assaulting a police officer and threatening a friend with a machete while punching him.
Jamual Edward Parks, 27, pleaded guilty Sept. 21 to charges of assaulting a public servant and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Parks did not unsheathe the machete, prosecutor Bill Vassar said.
“His hands were deadly weapons,” Vassar said.
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Parks faced maximum sentences of 99 years and 20 years in prison. State District Judge Wayne Salvant said the six-year sentences would be served concurrently, and he gave Parks credit for time served in jail.
Parks will be eligible for parole after three years, Vassar said.
Parks and his friend, Juan Angel, a blogger, were in Parks’ apartment on Nov. 24, 2013, according to testimony Monday in the sentencing hearing. Angel testified that he brought marijuana and beer for them to share, but as he entered the apartment, the fighter claimed the blogger was trying to “set him up,” Angel testified.
Angel asked what he meant, and Parks replied that he had a difficult time growing up and that no one had ever been there for him. Angel testified that he pointed out to Parks that despite his upbringing, Parks had earned a college degree and was progressing in the mixed martial arts field.
That’s when Parks began beating him, Angel said.
“I was trying to figure out what was going on and then he just kneed me in the face, threw me on the couch and started elbowing me and punching me,” Angel said. “He hit me with another elbow, and blood went everywhere.”
Angel said he told Parks that if he would stop hitting him he would leave. But Parks continued the beating, Angel said.
Angel told Parks that he wanted to see his 2-year-old son again, but Parks said he didn’t care.
“I was on the ground, and he pulled out a machete and put it next to my throat,” Angel said. “The whole time, he’s head-butting me, kicking me. I didn’t want to let the machete go.”
I think he’s lucky the police didn’t shoot him,
state District Judge Wayne Salvant said
When he was able to get to his feet, Angel said, he ran to a neighboring apartment, and police were called. Soon, two Arlington officers arrived.
One drew his gun, and Parks dropped the machete, police Cpl. L. Hoerig testified Monday.
“I tried calling out ‘Jamual,’ and as soon as I did, he was on top of me, hitting me with his fist multiple times,” Hoerig testified. “I was pinned against the wall.”
The other officer deployed his Taser, but the shocks had no effect on Parks, Hoerig said. The other officer put the Taser away and wrestled with Parks to pull him away from Hoerig. For a moment, Hoerig said, Parks seemed to comply, and the officers got one of his hands cuffed before Parks started fighting with them again.
Parks was shocked repeatedly with a Taser, and it still took several officers to restrain him, Vassar said. Angel, Hoerig and Parks all went to a hospital, according to testimony.
Hoerig said her jaw was dislocated, and an elbow cut needed three stitches. The cut became infected, and she had to take antibiotics, Hoerig said.
Angel testified that he got stitches for cuts on his lip and mouth.
In delivering his ruling, Salvant said he did not understand why Parks invited Angel into his home and then attacked him and the officers who came to restore order. Salvant said he believed there was more than marijuana in Parks’ system.
“I think he’s lucky the police didn’t shoot him,” Salvant said.
Justin Sparks, one of Parks’ attorneys, said Parks had no record of any other felony arrests and no record of positive drug tests.
A forensic psychiatrist who examined Parks in jail after the incident said he was delusional and incompetent to stand trial, according to court records. He was re-evaluated in April 2014 and judged competent to stand trial.
Sparks recommended probation, but Salvant said Parks had to be held responsible for his actions.
“I did not send you down for a long period of time, which I could have,” Salvant said.