With his three young daughters in the courtroom, 26-year-old David Gomez was sentenced Tuesday to six years in Nevada State Prison for eluding an officer who believed the suspect was trying to hit him with a van.
Gomez has a long history of criminal behavior, including a prior stint in prison for methamphetamine sales.
He told District Judge Dave Gamble he had turned his life over to God and would keep that promise no matter what happened in court.
"I don't know why I do what I do," Gomez said. "I asked God to bless my life. I know He will. I won't always be in bondage. If I can keep one of those three little kids back there from using drugs, it will be worth it."
Gomez was arrested Aug. 23 after he was kicked out of a drug treatment program in South Lake Tahoe for rules violations.
He was awaiting pickup by Chief Probation Officer Doug Swalm so he could be returned to Douglas County Jail when he fled.
Douglas County Deputy Michael Matthews said in court Tuesday he and Deputy Brian Auchenbach believed Gomez tried to run them over when they caught up to him driving a van.
"I truly feel Mr. Gomez intended to hit myself and Deputy Auchenbach," Matthews said. "He looked right at us as he turned the vehicle toward us. He knew exactly where we were standing."
Matthews said Gomez was lucky to be alive after the van overturned when the tires were punctured with spike strips set across the road to slow him down.
"The only reason he is alive is because he wasn't wearing his seat belt. Otherwise, he would have come in contact with the median," Matthews said.
He asked Gamble to give Gomez the maximum sentence.
"I have two reasons," Matthews said. "One is his intent to hit me and Deputy Auchenbach with the van. The second is that if he is serious about quitting using, prison is an excellent opportunity to isolate yourself from drugs."
Gamble said he had no option but to send Gomez back to prison.
"I can't magically discern whether the change you describe in your letter is true or false," Gamble said. "It doesn't change my duty here. There isn't anything I can do but send you to prison.
"You have been so self-absorbed, so self-centered, crank is more important to you than those people you say you love. You've got 70 more years ahead of you to do right. If you do well, you will have the life you say you want. If, in fact, God is chasing you down, He's everywhere you will be, and you will have the opportunity to change."
He is eligible for parole in 18 months. Gomez was given credit for eight days in jail.
Gomez was arrested April 21 when he tried to run from deputies who pulled him over for a traffic stop. He was captured when he tripped over sagebrush, according to reports.
He pleaded guilty to obstructing a public officer, a misdemeanor.
In March 2006, Gomez was sentenced to up to four years in prison for selling methamphetamine.
Prior convictions for drug and alcohol offenses include two felonies and being kicked out of Western Regional Drug Court.
He and his family lost their Bodie Flats home to a fire on April 28.