Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz repeat offender sentenced to 5 years in prison

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - A 36-year-old man is headed to prison for five years for assaulting a Santa Cruz police officer, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Jesse Warren Parsons was convicted  a jury trial in December on multiple charges, including battery on an officer, resisting arrest and possession of methamphetamine. Those charges stemmed from an incident on Oct. 4, 2013, when an officer found Parsons illegally camping off East Cliff Drive. The officer determined there was an outstanding warrant for Parsons' arrest but Parsons resisted apprehension, dragging and kicking at the officer. A second officer arrived and the struggled continued before Parsons was finally taken into custody.

Previously Parsons made headlines when he was accidentally released from Santa Cruz County Jail in March 2013. Parsons posed as another man with a similar name and physical description, and staff fell for the scam and released him. Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies said at the time that jail staff had failed to follow proper protocol. At the time, Parsons was in jail after being arrested on outstanding warrants. After his escape, he was re-arrested a few weeks later.

Assistant District Attorney Alex Byers prosecuted the latest case against Parsons, who has a lengthy criminal history that includes drug possession, resisting arrest, theft and car theft.

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