Retired officers gave key tip in fugitive search
Saturday, August 13, 2011
DENVER (AP) — A crucial tip that led to the arrests of three fugitive siblings in Colorado came from two retired officers, one a former state trooper and the other a former wildlife officer, authorities said.
The pair were taking a leisure trip in the San Isabel National Forest Wednesday morning when they spotted the siblings somewhere near Colorado City, said Colorado Department of Public Safety spokesman Lance Clem.
The retired trooper knew the number of a State Patrol dispatch center in Pueblo and called in the sighting. His report was quickly broadcast to law-enforcement officers, and within an hour the fugitives were in custody after a high-speed chase, gunfire and a crash.
"If you're the bad guys, you don't really want to encounter some retired officers because you're in for a bad day," Clem said.
Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, are being held in Pueblo County, Colo. They face preliminary charges of attempted first-degree murder and assault in two counties, Pueblo and Huerfano, because officers from both counties were involved in the chase.
The Doughertys face bonds of more than $2.5 million each between the two counties. Each has a separate lawyer, and a Huerfano judge issued a gag order Friday banning the lawyers from any discussion of a possible plea deal.
The Doughertys are also wanted in Georgia on bank robbery charges and in Florida on charges of shooting at a police officer on Aug. 2. Ryan Edward Dougherty also faces a grand theft auto warrant in Florida.
According to the warrant, Ryan Dougherty had permission from a woman to take the Subaru Impreza "to and from work." The woman later saw her Subaru on the police chase video.
Attempted murder, the more serious of the Colorado charges, carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison, but that could be increased to 48 years if it's found to be a crime of violence under Colorado law, Pueblo County District Attorney Bill Thiebaut said.
They are due back in court in Pueblo on Monday, with a court date in Huerfano Aug. 22. The fugitives' lawyer, public defender William Martinez, declined comment through a spokeswoman on Friday.
Colorado authorities first learned the fugitives might be in their state on Tuesday, when an FBI agent told the Colorado Intelligence Analysis Center the siblings might have purchased camping gear at a Colorado Springs store.
The Colorado Intelligence Analysis Center is a state homeland security agency established after the 2001 terrorist attacks. At the FBI's request, the center distributed a bulletin about the fugitives to Colorado law-enforcement officers and other state and federal officials, Clem said.
News media outlets were also notified, and at least one of the retired officers heard the media reports, Clem said.
Clem wasn't sure exactly where the retired officers saw the fugitives, but it was believed to be about 120 miles south of Denver near the small town of Colorado City.
The reported sighting was broadcast to state troopers and others shortly after 9 a.m., and four state troopers began heading that way, according to a court document and interviews with Clem and other officials.
A Pueblo County sheriff's deputy said over his radio that he had spotted the suspects at an Interstate 25 exit in Colorado City, and before 9:30 one of the troopers sighted the car, officials said.
With three State Patrol cars and the sheriff's car in pursuit, the suspects' car headed south on I-25, reaching speeds up to 120 mph as it tried to pull away, the patrol said in a court document.
Shots were fired from the suspects' car at the pursuing officers about nine minutes into the chase, authorities said. The white Subaru veered off the interstate and crashed near Walsenburg, about 22 miles south of where the chase started, after troopers placed tire-puncturing stop sticks on the road, authorities said.
Lee Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dogherty Stanley were arrested at the scene; Ryan Dougherty was arrested after a short foot chase, according to the court document. It was all over at 9:56 a.m., Clem said.
An arrest affidavit said Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg by Walsenburg Police Chief James Chamblerlain after she pointed a pistol at him. She told authorities, "I deserved to get shot."
Associated Press Writer Kristen Wyatt contributed to this report.
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