A man who entered guilty pleas to stealing two pickups in the same day – including one at knife point – has been ordered to serve 364 days of a 10-year sentence.
Jason Otis Ward, 36, was handed the sentence by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley after entering pleas to charges of robbery, evading arrest, reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon, that being a vehicle, and theft of property between $1,000 and $2,500.
Ward’s four-hour crime spree had no apparent motive. It took place in November 2020.
It started on a Saturday afternoon around 4 p.m. when Ward reportedly flagged down a motorist at Walmart and indicated he needed a ride. The motorist obliged.
As they were traveling down Chancery Street toward downtown, Ward reportedly began punching the male driver as the vehicle was moving. Ward then pulled a knife, according to police reports, and ordered the driver out of the pickup. This took place near the intersection of Chancery Street and Locust Street. Ward fled the scene in the victim’s Nissan Frontier, while the victim went to Fiesta Ranchera No. 3 to call 911. An all-points bulletin was issued for the Frontier and it was eventually found abandoned in Cannon County. Ward allegedly left the Frontier and stole a green Chevy S10 pickup in its place and returned to McMinnville.
An alert was issued on the stolen S10 and it was spotted shortly thereafter by McMinnville Police. Ward sped away and refused to pull over. He traveled out Nashville Highway before he was apprehended on Airport Lake Road shortly after 8 p.m. that same night. A knife was found on his person as he was being placed under arrest.
McMinnville Police says it’s unclear why Ward would steal a truck at knife point, drive to Cannon County, steal another truck and return to McMinnville.