Man in pre-trial diversion program arrested for stealing car and tampering with evidence

Staff report

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Devonte Bill West, 30, was arrested early this morning and charged with grand theft of a car and tampering with evidence after allegedly trying to hide the key of a stolen car he had been driving when a deputy pulled him over. West entered into a pre-trial diversion program in December; the agreement requires him to comply with the conditions of the program or serve 364 days in the Alachua County Jail.

At about 1:51 a.m. this morning, an Alachua County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed a vehicle traveling east on SE Williston Road that had been reported stolen from Eastwood Meadows; the deputy reported that the vehicle pulled into a yard in the 400 block of SE Williston Road. The deputy activated her lights and reported that she saw a black male getting out of the vehicle.

The deputy pulled her gun and gave the driver multiple commands to show his hands and walk toward her. She reported that she ordered him to walk toward her patrol vehicle over 10 times while he stood in the wooded area behind the stolen vehicle, refusing to move toward her. After more deputies arrived, the driver was reportedly ordered to get on the ground and continued to refuse the orders, asking why he had been stopped. After the driver was told that a taser would be used if he did not comply, he lay on the ground and was detained. At that point, he was identified as West.

When he was asked if the vehicle was locked, West reportedly said the vehicle did not belong to him and he assumed it was locked. When asked where the keys were, West allegedly said he did not know because the vehicle did not belong to him. He also reportedly said he had not been driving the vehicle.

Post Miranda, West reportedly did not wish to answer any questions.

The deputy who had initially followed the car reported that she saw the rear taillights flashing when West got out of the car, indicating that he had locked it with the key fob. Deputies conducted a search of the surrounding area for the key fob and found it on the ground after about 45 minutes of searching.

West has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, driving without a valid license (third or subsequent violation), and resisting an officer. He allegedly refused to sign and fingerprint the traffic citation, resulting in an additional charge for willfully refusing to sign and accept a citation issued by an officer.

West has two felony convictions (none violent). In August 2023, he was arrested and charged with grand theft of a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a controlled substance (charges of cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and drug paraphernalia possession were dropped). In December, he entered into a pre-trial diversion agreement that required him to follow specific conditions to avoid jail time; if he fails to successfully comply with those conditions, including not breaking any laws, the agreement states that he will serve 364 days in jail.

Judge Susan Miller-Jones set bail at $97,500. An affidavit of violation of his pre-trial diversion agreement has been filed in the previous case.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

  • This 🤡 felonwas already caught with a gun in another stolen car, and Kramer’s State Attorney’s office thought that “Pre-Trial Diversion” would be an appropriate penalty for that? No wonder he reoffended. Felons with guns belong in prison, not being coddled by soft prosecutors.

    • Unfortunately this is soft, liberal Alachua County. Home of the “5th last chance” for repeat felons.

  • Another useless felon who doesn’t want to work and would rather steal from others. He needs a stiff jail sentence.

  • Convicted felon with a gun, and drugs gets a slap on the wrist with a diversion agreement not to get into trouble again. What could go wrong with that? A convicted felon who has been babied through the system by weak prosecutors is what is wrong with that…. This guy is a POS thief that doesnt care. A diversion agreement to him only means ” Go on about your gun toting gangster lifestyle, JUST don’t get caught doing it.”

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