ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Man involved in chase, crash, escape gets no new jail time

Prosecutors consulted with a woman who was injured in a three-vehicle crash before the Arkansas man who caused the wreck was sent home with no further time in jail and no probation.

Highway Patrol officers work the scene of a crash that occurred March 20, 2015, at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Kimball Street in Mitchell in this Daily Republic file photo. (Matt Gade/Republic)
Highway Patrol officers work the scene of a crash that occurred March 20, 2015, at the intersection of 11th Avenue and Kimball Street in Mitchell in this Daily Republic file photo. (Matt Gade/Republic)

Prosecutors consulted with a woman who was injured in a three-vehicle crash before the Arkansas man who caused the wreck was sent home with no further time in jail and no probation.

Charles Reed, 36, of Heber Springs, was sentenced on Sept. 19 to three concurrent 232-day jail sentences, with credit however for 232 days served in each, for second-degree escape, aggravated eluding and hit-and-run causing injury. That means he was sentenced to spend zero days in jail.

In addition, a theft by insufficient funds charge was dismissed, and Reed was not ordered to spend any time on probation as prosecutors decided Davison County was better off sending Reed back to Arkansas.

The aggravated eluding and hit-and-run charges stem from a March 20, 2015, incident in Mitchell in which Reed fled from officers in a vehicle before crashing into two vehicles - one driven by Kathryn White, of Tripp, the other an unmarked police car driven by a Mitchell officer - at the intersection of Kimball Street and 11th Avenue.

Reed, the officer and White were injured, along with a child in White's vehicle. A preliminary breath test revealed Reed's blood-alcohol content to be 0.107 percent. The legal limit to drive in South Dakota is 0.08 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT

Nearly five months later, Reed failed to return to jail from his work release on Aug. 16, 2015, instead traveling to Arkansas, where he lived before moving to Mitchell a few months before the crash, according to Davison County Chief Deputy State's Attorney Robert O'Keefe.

Authorities in Arkansas arrested Reed the following month and filed new charges against him.

The Davison County sentences were issued after gaining approval from White and discussing the situation with officials in Arkansas, O'Keefe said, and the minimal sentence appeared to be the best deal for the county.

"Arkansas basically said, 'If you put him on probation in South Dakota, he's yours," O'Keefe said. "My concern was he would want to stay. I just didn't really want him around."

Reed could have been ordered to serve jail or prison time, but when he was released, Arkansas authorities would still treat him as if he was on probation in Arkansas.

In addition, Reed has already served time in custody. In the brief period between his escape and his arrest, Reed was cited with new felony charges in Arkansas. Those issues had to be resolved before he could be returned to South Dakota, which is why he didn't plead guilty in Davison County until Aug. 23, more than one year after his escape.

After gaining approval from White, prosecutors decided to save the county money by allowing Reed to leave the state, and the sentencing judge agreed.

Prosecutors in Arkansas could not be reached for comment on Reed's charges or sentence.

ADVERTISEMENT

Although he won't see jail time from them, Reed's Davison County charges will add to his record, which could lead a judge to issue a more stern sentence if he violates the law again.

A person's criminal history and a victim's opinion are often considered during sentencing or the construction of a plea agreement, O'Keefe said. So while two people may have pleaded guilty to the same charge, a person who had charges dismissed or has an extensive criminal history may receive a more severe sentence.

"There are so many different factors that go into a plea bargain. Not everyone is the same, though it may look like that on the surface," O'Keefe said. "Even if a plea bargain appears to be (the same) on the surface, we know full well the judge will have the facts of the case and will sentence accordingly."

Related Topics: CRIMECRASHES
What To Read Next
Snow removal began Thursday and will continue into the upcoming week, city officials say.
Local governments erase invisible routes hunters use to access public land
Navigator CO2 Ventures is hoping to streamline the application process in Illinois as they add an additional pipeline to the mix.
Members Only
“We had a ton of nominations this year for all the awards,” Davison County Sheriff Steve Harr said of all the employee nominations.