Boys involved in chase plead guilty to felonies

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— Two 14-year-old boys involved in a high-speed chase from Walden to Steamboat Springs last month pleaded guilty to felony charges in Routt County Court Friday.

The boys admitted to first-degree aggravated motor vehicle theft for stealing a truck and vehicular eluding for leading authorities on a high-speed chase, Routt County Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann said.

Because they are juveniles, neither boys' name was released.

Sentencing for the driver is on June 5.
The passenger of the truck was sentenced to two years at the Division of Youth Juvenile Corrections in Grand Junction. That was a mandatory sentence because it was the boy's third judicial appearance for a felony charge, Feldmann said.

In Jackson County, the passenger will be charged with revocation of probation on April 17, said Dan Kaup of the Jackson County district attorney's office.

Kaup will ask the judge to sentence the boy, who is from Walden, to corrections in Grand Junction.

"He could receive a double sentencing there," he said.

The maximum sentencing is two years. Kaup couldn't comment on previous charges because of the boy's age.

Kaup is still investigating charges that may be filed against the driver.

In Moffat County, where the two boys had been living at the Moffat County Youth Care Center, the driver could face the same charges that he pleaded guilty to in Routt County plus an additional charge for running away from the center, Feldmann said.

As of now, no charges have been filed in Moffat County, according that district attorney's office.

At the request of the his lawyer, the judge allowed the driver to return to the Moffat County center that he ran away from four week ago. Feldmann was opposed to the request.

On April 13, the two boys left the Moffat County center and stole a silver Chevy truck. The truck was parked near the center and its keys were in the ignition.

"The guy didn't even know it was stolen," Feldmann said.

The two boys reportedly then drove to Walden and spent the night with friends.

An officer started chasing the teens the next day after they refused to pull over about one mile south of Walden.

That began a roughly 60-mile chase as the boys led about a dozen law enforcement officers over Rabbit Ears Pass and into downtown Steamboat Springs.

The juveniles avoided two sets of road fangs on the highway, spikes designed to puncture tires, before officials called off their pursuit. An unmarked car followed the stolen truck through Steamboat and lawmen eventually cornered the boys at gunpoint.


-- To reach Doug Crowl call 871-4206 or e-mail dcrowl@amigo.net

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