Prison releasee gets maximum sentence for intentionally ramming ATV, injuring driver

BONIFAY – A Westville man who was only out of prison about 6 months before picking up charges for intentionally ramming an ATV has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.

Holmes County Chief Prosecutor Jacob Cook successfully argued to have Jesse David Hicks, 31, sentenced as a Prison Releasee Reoffender. Judge Colby Peel ordered the mandatory sentence of 15 years. The defendant, as a Prison Releasee Reoffender, will have to serve every day of that sentence with no gain time.

Jesse David Hicks

“In order to keep our communities safe, it is critical to seek enhancements on criminals who have been recently released from prison,” Cook said. “Based on this defendant’s criminal history he presented a danger to the community and our circuit is now a safer place with him spending the next 15 years behind bars.”

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A jury deliberated for about 20 minutes in March before finding Hicks guilty of Aggravated Battery and Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Injuries for the April 2023 incident.

At the trial, Cook called four witnesses and presented evidence gathered by the Florida Highway Patrol and the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office. It showed the victim was stopped on Arrant Road at County 181 when he saw the defendant approaching in his truck.

Testimony showed that the defendant ran into the ATV and pushed it into a ditch, where it overturned. The evidence showed that the victim had never met the defendant and the victim was out with his wife and 2-year-old granddaughter to take her swimming at Lake Cassidy when he was struck.

The defendant fled but was later spotted near the scene and taken into custody by FHP and Holmes County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

Basford thanked the FHP and Holmes County Sheriff’s Office for their work and collaboration on the case.

For more information, contact Mike Cazalas at, or call 850-381-7454.