A Waco man who assaulted a Department of Public Safety trooper, pulled a knife and threatened to kill him last year was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday.

Robert James Edwards, 19, pleaded guilty to first-degree felony aggravated assault against a public servant in a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sent to prison by 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson.

Because Edwards used a deadly weapon in the June 2018 attack, he must serve at least half of his 20-year sentence before he can be considered for parole.

Edwards’ attorney, Brittany Lannen, declined comment on Edwards’ case after the brief plea hearing.

According to records filed in the case, DPS Trooper Ben Holden was on patrol near South 17th Street and James Avenue when a woman flagged him down and asked for his help with her runaway daughter. She pointed to a couple walking on 17th Street.

Holden drove to the couple, got out of his car and called several times for the young woman to stop. She ignored his commands and kept walking. Edwards, according to the reports, “turned abruptly and charged toward” Holden. Edwards put the trooper in a “bear hug,” and they exchanged punches, the trooper reported.

Holden reported Edwards punched him above his left eye and he fired his stun gun, which Holden said was ineffective.

“Edwards pulled a knife and continued to advance toward me,” Holden wrote in court records. “The knife was closed during the altercation and I drew my handgun and gave orders for Edwards to drop the knife. Edwards stated he would kill me.”

The 17-year-old with Edwards tried to pull Edwards back, Holden said. Edwards finally complied with Holden’s orders to drop the knife but refused his commands to get on the ground. Other officers arrived, and Holden tackled Edwards, who continued to resist arrest, according to reports.

The girl was placed in the custody of Child Protective Services as a runaway, reports indicate.

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