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A parolee whose July carjacking attempt ended when he was shot by a Little Rock police officer has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Rudy Leonard Avila Jr. of Little Rock pleaded guilty to robbery and felony theft Monday in exchange for the 15-year sentence from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson.

Police said Avila, 23, had pulled free from officers attempting to arrest him in July on a shoplifting count at the Home Depot on Chenal Parkway.

He ran through the parking lot to the Chick-fil-A on Markham Street, where he found Adrian Harris, 24, waiting in the drive-thru line in her 2010 Chevrolet Malibu.

Avila pulled her out of the car, threw her to the ground and started driving her car.

Arrests of Rudy Avila

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Photos by Pulaski County sheriff's office

Officer Ralph Breshears shot at Avila, hitting him several times in the arm, but Avila kept driving until another motorist crashed his Jeep into the car. Avila was hospitalized for about five days before being jailed. He was subsequently returned to prison.

Breshears said he opened fire out of fear for his own life when Avila drove toward him, refusing orders to stop, police said.

But a review of the shooting led to prosecutors charging the officer with misdemeanor battery in January after the police inquiry determined that Breshears had been negligent and put Harris in harm's way when he opened fire.

Breshears, 56, had been the department's leading vehicular-homicide investigator, and he retired during the internal review. His trial is scheduled for September. He faces at most a year in jail.

Avila was on parole in July after a seven-year prison sentence imposed in June 2014 for a robbery -- in which he hit a security guard in the mouth with a BB gun he was trying to steal -- residential burglary and car break-ins.

He was also awaiting trial at the time for stealing a computer during a June 2015 burglary on Westchester Court in Little Rock. He pleaded guilty on Monday in that case as well.

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Metro on 04/19/2018

Print Headline: Officer-shot parolee gets 15-year sentence in LR robbery, theft

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