SANTA CRUZ (BCN) — A Santa Cruz County Jail inmate was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for threatening a correctional officer and assaulting a fellow prisoner while in custody, the district attorney announced Wednesday.
John Jason Thomas, 40, was convicted of assaulting a fellow inmate Feb. 27 2014 and assaulting a correctional officer Nov. 27, 2014.
At the time of the crimes for which he was sentenced Thomas was incarcerated on charges which have since been dismissed, according to Santa Cruz County Assistant District Attorney Ross Taylor.
He was arrested on suspicion of carjacking in 2013 in an incident where he allegedly attempted to fire a handgun at the victim’s chest multiple times, but the gun was loaded with the wrong ammunition and failed to fire.
“Those charges were dismissed, and depending on the outcome of the forensic tests it’s anticipated that a re-filing of those charges would be possible,” Taylor said.
“There’s some pretty complex forensics that are essentially incomplete,” Taylor said. “Because he had picked up these two offenses which were prosecutable while in custody, rather than being forced to trial without some of that being done I had the opportunity to prosecute for other crimes.”
Thomas received the maximum possible sentence due to his history of violence, which includes two prison terms due to domestic violence convictions and a felony assault charge stemming from an incident in which he reportedly stabbed his mother’s boyfriend in 2006, according to Taylor.
Ted Meneice, Thomas’s defense attorney, could not be immediately reached for comment.