Man sentenced to year in jail for stealing cars

Eleven months and 29 days in the Manatee County jail with credit for time served.

That was the sentence handed Aug. 16 to Jeffrey T. Clarke, 19, of Bradenton by 12th Circuit Judge Charles Sniffen.

Clarke was arrested for fleeing law enforcement, grand theft, child abuse and no valid driver’s license in February after leading Holmes Beach police on a chase that exceeded 100 mph.

The pursuit ended when Clarke, driving a gold Cadillac with three passengers, one of them 16 years old, crashed into a palm tree at Flamingo Drive and Manatee Avenue West in Bradenton. No injuries were reported.

Clarke pleaded no contest on all counts.

The judge found Clarke guilty on the fleeing and license counts and withheld adjudication on the other counts.

Sniffen also ordered Clarke to 42 months probation and suspended his driver’s license for a year.

In addition, on charges stemming from an earlier arrest, Sniffen ordered the same jail and probation sentence be served concurrently.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office had arrested Clarke in December 2017 for stealing a vehicle in an eastside Bradenton Walmart parking lot.

Another condition of Clarke’s probation includes a requirement to report 72 hours of his jail release to a probation officer.

Court records show Clarke was assessed $1,052 in the HBPD case. In the MCSO case, the judge assessed $813 in costs and fines and ordered to pay $763.73 to the victim.

Clarke has been in the Manatee County jail since his Feb. 17 arrest.

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