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Press Release

Clarksville Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Firing Weapon at Police Officers

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Tennessee
Defendant Has a Long History of Violence Directed at Law Enforcement Officers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – March 11, 2019 – Levi West, 35, of Palmyra, Tennessee, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in federal prison, as the result of an incident in February 2018, during which he fired a handgun at Clarksville police officers, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee. 

West was indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2018 on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and being a violent felon in possession of body armor.  He pleaded guilty to the charges on December 3, 2018.

“Assaults against our law enforcement officers will be reviewed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and when appropriate, as in this case, we will bring federal charges and vigorously pursue lengthy prison sentences as we have here,” said U.S. Attorney Don Cochran.

According to court documents, on February 3, 2018, West was involved in a high-speed pursuit in Clarksville while attempting to elude police officers.  Officers later located West’s vehicle parked in a residential area and saw West standing outside the car.  West refused the officer’s directives to comply with arrest commands and fired three shots at them, before fleeing into a nearby wooded area.  West was apprehended by a police K-9 a short time later.

In addition to past convictions for robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated burglary, West also has a history of violent interactions with law enforcement dating back to 2001, when at age 17, he assaulted and threatened to kill arresting officers; in 2005 West assaulted a Virginia State Trooper; in 2006 West assaulted another Virginia police officer;  at age 25, after violating a protective order, West assaulted a sheriff’s deputy and threatened to kill his family and dog; at age 33, while a member of the Outlaws Gang, West and two others beat an inmate to death; at age 34, West assaulted a probation officer; and while incarcerated awaiting trial in this case, he struck two sheriff’s deputies in the face multiple times.  For these and other convictions, West received mostly probationary sentences in the state system, with relatively short sentences over the past decade.

Although West was facing 10 years in prison, in sentencing him, U.S. District Court Judge William L. Campbell, Jr., found that West qualified as an Armed Career Criminal and was subject to enhanced punishment and sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Clarksville, Tennessee Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & explosives.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Jaworski.          

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David Boling
Public Information Officer

Updated March 12, 2019

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