“Ultimately, the facts at trial showed that, through deception, the defendant stole a vehicle from Mike Craig Ford and never paid for nor returned the vehicle,” Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said.
He received a 15-year sentence.
Byrd said that the defendant, through his attorneys, stated that “multiple errors” were committed at the trial.
“The Appellate Court denied all allegations of error and affirmed the conviction and sentence,” Byrd said.
115th District Judge Lauren Parish presided at the original trial, and Assistant Upshur County District Attorney Edward Choy represented the state.
Gilmer Attorney Dwight Brannon was defense attorney.
The Appellate Court’s Opinion and Judgment was written by Josh R. Morriss III, chief justice of the court.
According to the Appellate Court’s opinion and judgment, DeVance and his girlfriend went to Mike Craig Ford in early 2008 and told a salesman that he intended to pay for the car with cash from a previous job, and that he would pay for the car with cash in full within the week.
DeVance and his girlfriend completed an application for Texas certificate of title to retitle the vehicle in their names on March 17. They took possession of the vehicle.
“The problem was, DeVance never paid for the vehicle. At the heart of this case is the fact question of whether he ever intended to,” the opinion said.
An Upshur County Jury found DeVance guilty of theft by deception of property worth between $20,000 and $100,000.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
The full market value of the car was $24,430. The girlfriend came with him because DeVance did not have a valid driver’s license, the opinion said.