Trial delayed in chase of stolen vehicle

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WALLA WALLA -- A trial scheduled this week for a man accused of driving a stolen vehicle during a chase by patrol officers into Oregon in June has been postponed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

David A. Pickett, 35, now is set for trial Jan. 12 and 13 on charges of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Walla Walla police said Pickett was seen driving from a residence in the 600 block of South Palouse Street in a stolen white Honda Accord about 2:30 p.m. June 15.

When marked emergency vehicles started following him near Whitman and Howard streets, he sped south on Howard and Cottonwood Road, police said.

He allegedly headed from Walla Walla on gravel and dirt back roads, eventually abandoning the car in an alley in the area of Fifth Avenue and Willow Street in Milton-Freewater. He was taken into custody a short distance from the scene and booked into the Umatilla County Jail.

During the pursuit, Pickett reportedly eluded officers for 13 miles, with speeds as high as 80 mph. "Pickett ran through at least four stop signs without stopping and swerved across the center line numerous times," according to a Walla Walla police report filed in court.

No injuries or property damage were reported. The vehicle had been stolen in Milton-Freewater within two hours of the chase, police said.

Pickett, of 53752 Appleton Road, No. 61, Milton-Freewater, was transported to the Walla Walla County Jail on Sept. 28 to face the local charges. Police said he has been arrested more than 15 times and has a lengthy criminal history of drug crimes and other offenses.

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