State District Judge Larry Gist of the Drug Impact Court of Jefferson County yesterday accepted a jury verdict and sentenced Kipp Kenneth Luster, 26, of Defuniak Springs, Florida to 20 years in prison and a fine of $60,000, announced Criminal District Attorney Bob Wortham.
According to testimony during the trial, on March 28, 2013, a Jefferson County Sheriff Officer was monitoring traffic on IH-10 Eastbound when he attempted to pull the defendants vehicle over for traffic infractions. The driver accelerated quickly and began to evade detention.
The suspect vehicle was traveling at extremely high speeds, up to and exceeding 100 mph while weaving in and out of traffic, forcing vehicles off the road. The driver continued to attempt to elude capture by driving at high rates of speed through a hotel and movie theater parking lot and then driving the wrong way on the access road before reentering IH-10 Eastbound. The driver lost control of his vehicle and plowed into a concrete support column under an overpass. The driver fled the wrecked vehicle on foot and was quickly apprehended by Jefferson and Orange County law enforcement personnel. The driver was identified as Kipp K. Luster, and the front seat passenger was identified as Peter M. Luster who suffered a broken leg as a result of the crash. Upon searching the suspect vehicle, officers found a plastic bag containing an off-white pressed brick of powder in the front seat floorboard. Lab test confirmed that it was cocaine, weighing 498 grams.
According to the defendant’s testimony, Luster stated that he ran from the police because he had a federal indictment. When asked on cross examination, Luster admitted that he is currently serving seventy (70) months in federal prison for the offense of Possession with Intent to Deliver Cocaine out of the state of Alabama. After accepting the jury’s punishment verdict, Judge Larry Gist ordered that his sentence run consecutive to his federal prison sentence. Luster’s Evading with a Motor Vehicle charge is still pending trial.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Christopher Cadena and Bobby Ortego.
Cadena commented, “The defendant put people’s lives in danger when he chose to engage in this criminal behavior. I commend the Jefferson and Orange County law enforcement in their
DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
JEFFERSON COUNTY, TEXAS
professionalism and grace under extreme circumstances. We are pleased that the jury gave the defendant twenty years in prison and a substantial fine.”