Jury finds Pollok woman guilty of all charges in case involving stolen Lufkin PD patrol vehicle

Published: Mar. 6, 2018 at 6:44 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2018 at 2:08 PM CST
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Source: KTE Staff
Source: KTE Staff
Source: Lufkin PD
Source: Lufkin PD
Source: Lufkin PD
Source: Lufkin PD
Toscha Sponsler (Source: Angelina County Jail)
Toscha Sponsler (Source: Angelina County Jail)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A jury has found a Pollock woman guilty of all charges in a case involving a stolen Lufkin Police Department vehicle.

During the second day of testimony in the jury trial for Toscha Sponsler, who slipped her handcuffs, stole a Lufkin PD patrol unit, and led officers on a 23-minute chase back in September of 2017, the state called two more law enforcement witnesses to the stand.

After both the state and the defense rested Tuesday afternoon, the jury started deliberating on the verdict.

The first witness of the day, Angelina County Constable Chad Wilson, was called by the prosecution to answer questions, regarding the charge of aggravated assault of a public servant.

According to Sandra Martin, the prosecuting attorney, Toscha Sponsler assaulted Constable Wilson during the high-speed chase with police. Martin indicated the moment in question when Sponsler swerved the stolen patrol car in the direction of Constable Wilson's patrol car.

The prosecution called their last and final witness, Officer Andrew Lewis. Sponsler is accused of stealing his patrol unit.

The dashcam footage from the stolen patrol car was displayed for the jury, with the prosecuting attorney asking questions throughout the viewing.

"Is that at the moment that she says "I can't get this [expletive] rifle out," Martin said, about halfway through the dashcam footage.

"Yes, ma'am," Lewis said.

The prosecution rested after the viewing. However, Rudy Velasquez, the defense attorney, requested that the jury not be present for a motion before he rested his case.

Once the jury had left, Velasquez requested that the charge for aggravated assault of a public be changed to attempted assault, seeing as an actual assault hadn't been proven. Prosecutor Martin stated that it had been proven, with testimony and dashcam footage. Judge Robert Inselmann denied Velasquez' motion.

The defense added that they would not be calling any witnesses and would rest.

During closing arguments, the prosecution stated that testimony and dashcam footage clearly showed that Sponsler evaded arrest.

"The law provides that if you run from the police, you are committing a crime," Martin said. "You don't have to know what they're wanting from you."

Velasquez continued his argument that an assault had not been proven, so the jury should vote not guilty on that charge.

The jury broke soon after for lunch and deliberation on a verdict.

Previous stories: Trial for woman accused of stealing Lufkin PD patrol unit begins

Lufkin PD releases video of woman stealing patrol unit, leading police on chase

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