A former Jacksonville firefighter was convicted this month of several violent felonies after grabbing a woman downtown and beating and raping her in an alley. Daniel Evans was convicted of Jacksonville sexual battery, kidnapping and attempted felony murder, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. Evans faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced next month. In the trial, the victim testified she could not identify Evans as her attacker because she kept her eyes closed the entire time, the newspaper reported. But the state had some physical evidence, including Evans’ DNA on the victim’s clothes. Evans also left one shoe at the scene and it matched the shoe he was booked into jail with after police found him hiding in some bushes near where the attack occurred, the newspaper reported.
There were also two witnesses that saw the attack from a nearby parking garage and called police, the newspaper reported. Evans was convicted of grabbing the woman as she left a downtown Jacksonville bar about 2 a.m., and police found his car parked right outside that same bar, the newspaper reported. So despite the fact the victim could not identify Evans, there was what appeared to be a mountain of evidence against him in this Jacksonville Sex Crimes Case. His Duval County Criminal Attorneys argued the state hadn’t proven it was Evans in the alley and it was too dark for any of the witnesses to make a positive identification, but the jury did not agree, the newspaper reported.
He was fired from the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department immediately following his arrest in 2012, the newspaper reported. Because the beating occurred during the commission of another felony – the rape and/or the kidnapping could both be used as the felony – Evans was also charged with attempted felony murder. Felony murder can be charged when someone dies during the commission of a felony. Attempted felony murder can be a little more difficult for the state to prove but, in this Jacksonville Sex Crimes case, police said the victim lost consciousness and one of the witnesses said he thought the victim was dead when he saw her in the alley after Evans ran away, the newspaper reported. In Jacksonville Sex Crimes cases like this, prosecutors will typically stop negotiating once the defense takes the deposition of a rape victim, so a decision has to be made rather early on whether to take the case to trial or not. It would not be surprising if the state did not even have an offer in this particular Jacksonville Sex Crimes case, given the severity and nature of the crime. While the judge does have latitude in the sentencing in this case, Evans will be doing significant time on these charges – possibly life in prison.
If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.