Man Receives Probation For Police Assault Caught On Video
Feb. 22, 1994
ATHENS, Texas (AP) _ A man who fought with police and was shot twice while trying to flee was sentenced to two years' probation for the struggle, which was captured on videotape.
Lorenzo Colston faced up to 10 years in prison for assaulting the two East Texas officers after a traffic stop. Prosecutors had asked for 10 years probation and $10,000 in fines.
Colston, 28, was left with only limited use of his right arm and must wear a colostomy bag because of the gunshot wounds to his buttocks and arm. The jury sentenced him Monday after just 30 minutes of deliberations.
Colston was convicted Friday of assaulting the officers who pulled over the car he was riding in for a broken headlight on Sept. 29 near Athens, about 70 miles southeast of Dallas.
A video camera mounted on the cruiser captured state Trooper Bryan Barnhart and Henderson County sheriff's Deputy Jim Langford trading blows with Colston.
The officers said they had to subdue Colston because he was uncooperative, refusing to give his real name or lie on the ground after they arrested the driver on outstanding traffic warrants.
Barnhart shot Colston after he knocked Langford down and tried to run away.
The sole black juror reported receiving a threatening phone call Thursday night. Defense lawyer John Heath was denied a mistrial, but said the phone call would factor in his appeal.
The FBI has said it is considering whether Colston's civil rights were violated. He is black; the officers are white. A grand jury declined to indict the two officers.