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Man who led police on pursuits to spend two years in prison

Police lights. (Republic file photo)

A Tripp man arrested for leading police on two high-speed pursuits in two counties earlier this year has been sentenced to spend two years in prison.

Jeremy Daugherty, 36, was sentenced on Oct. 29 at the Charles Mix County Courthouse in Lake Andes for a drug charge. On Monday, he was sentenced at the Hutchinson County Courthouse in Olivet for aggravated eluding. Between the two chases, Daugherty was originally charged with seven felonies and nine misdemeanors.

On May 11, a Highway Patrol officer attempted to stop a car that had loud and unusual exhaust, according to court documents. The sedan was driving west on Highway 46, near mile marker 295.

Rather than pulling over, the driver of the car turned onto 399th Avenue, and a pursuit began, often at speeds of nearly 40 mph over the posted speed limit. After a few miles, the car died, and the driver was seen throwing out the window what was later found to be a case containing nearly 60 grams of methamphetamine, 18 small plastic bags and various drug paraphernalia.

Daugherty was identified as the car's driver. Also inside the car were a female passenger and two children, ages 6 and 7, none of whom were wearing seat belts. Daugherty was cited for three petty offenses for the seat belt violations.

Daugherty admitted to having used drugs earlier, and following field sobriety tests, he was charged with a first-offense DUI, a Class 1 misdemeanor. A small amount of marijuana was later found in the car, and Daugherty was charged for that, as well.

For that incident, Daugherty was also charged with manufacturing, distribution or possession of three or more schedule I or II items and abuse or cruelty to a minor less than 7, both of which are Class 3 felonies; child abuse and manufacturing, distribution or possession of drugs in schedules I or II, which are Class 4 felonies; possession of a controlled substance in schedule II and aggravated eluding, which are Class 5 and Class 6 felonies, respectively; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license and speeding on roadways, all of which are Class 2 misdemeanors.

Daugherty was involved in a second pursuit several months later. In Hutchinson County on Aug. 14, a car driven by Daugherty was observed by another Highway Patrol officer to be traveling above the 65 mph posted speed limit on Highway 18. The officer attempted to stop Daugherty, but Daugherty again sped away, beginning a pursuit that reached speeds of up to 99 mph.

After turning several times, Daugherty drove into a cornfield. A drone was used to locate his car, which was vacated about 25 yards into the field and contained a wallet with Daugherty's identification inside.

For that incident, Daugherty was again charged with aggravated eluding, driving with a suspended license and speeding on roadways. He was additionally charged with reckless driving, a Class 1 misdemeanor, and failure to make a proper stop at a stop intersection, a Class 2 misdemeanor.

After pleading not guilty in June, Daugherty pleaded guilty to manufacturing, distribution or possession of drugs in schedules I or II on Sept. 17, and the remainder of his charges in Charles Mix County were dropped. A pre-sentence investigation was then completed, and Daugherty was sentenced to six years in prison with four years suspended and credit for 77 days served.

In Hutchinson County, Daugherty pleaded guilty to aggravated eluding on the same day he was sentenced to spend two years in prison with credit for eight days served. His sentences are set to run concurrently.