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Jacksonville man sentenced to 20 years in prison for assault while taking his daughter

Jacksonville man spurred Amber Alert toddler search by John Lynch | June 18, 2022 at 9:40 a.m.

A 24-year-old Jacksonville man whose 2018 abduction of his 3-year-old daughter was the subject of a Morgan Nick Amber Alert has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for pistol-whipping and shooting a man while taking the girl, among other crimes that include seriously injuring another man while fleeing police.

Sentencing papers filed Thursday show Pulaski County Circuit Judge Leon Johnson sentenced Jalon Kelante Ware after the defendant pleaded guilty to residential burglary, theft by receiving and two counts each of first-degree battery and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The kidnapping charge related to the girl's abduction was dropped as part of Ware's plea agreement.

Ware has been jailed since his August 2018 arrest at the Lincoln Park apartment of girlfriend Zanaia Allen, 25, in Cabot, two hours after police said he kicked down the door of his ex-girlfriend's Jacksonville home in the middle of the night, clubbing 35-year-old Brandon Antwan Johnson with a pistol and firing a gunshot that grazed Johnson's head. Johnson suffered facial fractures and cuts that required surgery.

Ware's ex, Breiona Nelson, 25, told police she and her daughter with Ware had been asleep with Johnson when they were awakened by the men fighting. Ware took the girl but later left her with his own father, court files show.

U.S. marshals, the FBI and police were able to track Ware to Cabot through his cellphone, arrested him and seized his backpack, which contained 38.6 grams of cocaine, resulting in a two-year prison sentence in Lonoke County.

Ware was on probation at the time after pleading guilty to residential burglary and criminal mischief convictions for kicking down Nelson's door at her previous residence in July 2016, tearing up the home and punching her in the face several times.

Court records show he had been arrested three times between his guilty plea to those charges and his August 2018 arrest:

In March 2017, Little Rock police tried to stop the car Ware was driving because the vehicle matched the description of a stolen car. Ware refused to pull over, sparking a pursuit that ended in the 4600 block of Roundtop Drive in North Little Rock. Ware then ran from officers, throwing a stolen gun away as he fled. He was captured when he tripped and fell.

Eight months later, Jacksonville police in November 2017, investigating a report of a stolen TV at Ware's apartment at 700 Poplar St., found marijuana, a stolen pistol and a shotgun. Marijuana trafficking charges from the arrest were dropped as part of his plea agreement.

He was next arrested in March 2018 by North Little Rock police after refusing to pull over for a non-working brake light. When Ware finally pulled over, police found about 20 grams of marijuana, almost 3/4 ounce, in the car. The resulting felony marijuana and fleeing charges were dropped as part of Ware's plea agreement.

When Ware was apprehended in Cabot, he was wanted on charges related to a June 2018 car crash in North Little Rock that seriously injured the other driver.

The pursuit began after officers who had encountered Ware at the Deli Mart at 5017 Lynch Drive smelled marijuana in the vehicle Ware's car but he drove away after he had been ordered to surrender. He had an unidentified child and passenger with him.

Pursuing police saw Ware stop and drop off the child nearby in the 300 block of Pollock Street, with the chase ending when Ware crashed into another car on Arkansas 165, inflicting a broken leg and severe burns on the driver, Savaugh Kennard.

Ware and his unidentified passenger ran from his car, leaving behind 781 grams of marijuana in sealed bags in the vehicle, along with 1.5 grams of cocaine and Ward's identification and cell phone. Marijuana trafficking and fleeing charges were dropped as part of his plea agreement.

Print Headline: 20 years given in abduction case


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