A 33-year-old Hot Springs parolee is on his way to his fifth state prison term, for fleeing from North Little Rock police with a gun in a stolen truck in November 2020.
Timothy Ray Burton II pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, theft by receiving and fleeing, in exchange for a five-year sentence from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Cathi Compton, sentencing papers filed Monday show.
Burton, who has been either in prison or on parole since March 2013, was arrested about three weeks before Thanksgiving 2020 after a North Little Rock police officer saw Burton, driving a stolen Ford F-150 pickup, pull into the Mapco convenience store at 3401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., court files show.
Burton drove off when told to turn off the truck and get out of the vehicle, squealing tires as he drove through the store parking lot and onto West D Avenue.
The pursuit ended on the Interstate 40 West on-ramp when Burton lost control of the truck, drove down the grass embankment and into the interstate retaining wall. He ran from the truck across the freeway to the Murphy USA gas station at 111 W. Pershing, where he was arrested without incident. A loaded pistol was found on the truck floorboard behind the brake pedal.
Burton spent four days in jail before posting a $15,000 bond. Under the conditions of his plea agreement, negotiated by prosecutor Robbie Jones and defense attorney Mark Jesse, his sentence will run concurrently with the 45-year sentence imposed last month by the Saline County jury that found him guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and fleeing for an August 2021 arrest.
In that case, state troopers saw Burton driving a stolen white Dodge Charger below the speed limit westbound on Interstate 30. A check of the car's license plate showed it to not only be expired but also belong on a different car, court filings show.
When the trooper hit his lights, Burton pulled over onto the highway shoulder briefly, then turned into oncoming traffic until a second trooper forced him off the highway onto the service road, although Burton continued to drive in the wrong lane. Burton then turned north onto Arkansas 183, reaching up to 120 mph in a 45 mph zone.
One trooper tried to stop the fleeing vehicle using the controlled ramming technique known as the PIT maneuver, sending Burton into a spin, but he got control of the car before eventually crashing the Dodge. Burton ran from troopers but was chased down.
Inside the car were 14 guns, according to court records. Troopers also reported finding more than a pound of a suspicious crystalline substance. Burton was initially charged with methamphetamine possession, but the charge was dropped before trial.
Burton was last sentenced to prison in February 2016, when he received a 12-year term for a series of Garland County offenses, including theft by receiving, simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, being a felon in possession of a firearm and residential burglary. He was approved for parole in July 2018, with a release date of Jan. 17, 2019.
In September 2019, he was arrested for shoplifting at the Benton Academy Sports store. He ran from police, throwing away a bag of methamphetamine during the foot chase, before tiring out and surrendering, court records show.
In November 2019, Burton accepted a five-year prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to drug possession and evidence tampering, charges that together carried up to 55 years for a repeat offender. He was next approved for parole in May 2020, with a Sept 13, 2020, release date.