MARTINEZ -- A Martinez man was sentenced Friday to 26 years in state prison for a brief 2009 crime spree that left a Southern California woman nearly blind in one eye.
Brian Charles Parsons, 35, was convicted by a jury in November of mayhem, two counts of carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon and other felonies for crimes that the parolee committed while trying to avoid capture on Sept. 5, 2009.
His family members begged Judge Brian Haynes for mercy at his sentencing hearing, saying that Parsons is a methamphetamine addict who has the capacity for turning his life around. Defense attorney Linda Fullerton described her client as a decent person who began committing crimes after he started self-medicating with illegal drugs to cope with mental illness, past abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"It's emotional because we see a future for Brian that's not possible from behind bars," Parsons' uncle, Dan Robinson, said tearfully. "Consider the man behind the meth problem."
Haynes said the minimum sentence he could have given Parsons was 11 years in prison. Deputy district attorney Jordan Ross Sanders had asked for more than 40 years.
The spree started when a Concord man stopped Parsons from trying to steal his minivan in the parking lot of the Sam's Club on Concord Avenue, Sanders said. With police on his trail, Parsons next carjacked a San Diego couple of their rental car at the nearby Buchanan Air Field.
The woman was hospitalized for weeks for her injuries, including permanent vision loss to her right eye likely caused when she was struck by the car door, according to Sanders.
Parsons wrecked the stolen rental car and next tried to steal an inoperable pickup truck from a college student who was waiting for a tow truck near the Benicia Bridge.
Martinez police officers captured Parsons soon after at the entrance of the refinery on Marina Vista Boulevard in Martinez. Parson fought off the officers, leading them to use a Taser and sic their police dog on him.
Parsons was being treated at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez after the arrest when he head-butted a nurse.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.