Reckless Car Thief Sentenced to State Prison

Posted: November 27, 2018

Justin William Jefford was sentenced to 9 years in State Prison after pleading no contest to felony auto theft, evading an officer, driving under the influence of methamphetamine and causing great bodily injury to an innocent bystander.

Mr. Jefford was released from a prison sentence for a prior felony auto theft conviction.  Within 5 days of being released, Mr. Jefford stole his ex-girlfriend's mother's 2005 Volkswagen Beetle.  Mr. Jefford's ex-girlfriend called 911 and the Placerville Police Department was on the lookout for that car.

Within just a few hours, a Placerville PD Officer spotted the stolen car on Pierroz Road.  Mr. Jefford turned onto Green Valley Road where the officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop.  Once the lights and siren were activated, Mr. Jefford sped up to evade the officer.  Mr. Jefford was traveling up to 70 mph on Green Valley Road; crossing double yellow lines into oncoming traffic and causing other cars to swerve off the road.  At one point, Mr. Jefford went around a curve in the road and lost control of the car.  Mr. Jefford slid into the oncoming lane of traffic and collided head on with another car.  The driver of the other car was a local school counselor, Myrna Harp.  It is estimated Mr. Jefford was traveling approximately 65 mph at the time of the collision.  As a result of the collision, the engine was completely ejected from the car Mr. Jefford was driving and the driver's side door was separated from the car.  Mrs. Harp was unable to exit her car because the steering column was pushed against her body, trapping her.  The Rescue Fire Protection District responded to the collision and had to use the Jaws of Life to get Mrs. Harp out of the car.  

Mrs. Harp suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.  The most devastating injury was a crushed left foot.  Surgeons had to take a lower portion of her stomach including veins and arteries and attach them to her foot in an attempt to save it from amputation.  So far the surgery has proved successful, although she is still confined to a wheelchair.

Mr. Jefford was previously convicted of two other felony auto thefts.  His most recent conviction resulted in a prison term that was served in the local jail under AB 109.  

The maximum prison time Mr. Jefford was facing was 10 years.  Although 9 years was not as much time as Mrs. Harp would have liked to see Mr. Jefford sentenced to, she was happy with the resolution.