WALLA WALLA -- A man who allegedly drove a stolen vehicle during a chase by patrol officers into Oregon in June pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to felony charges in Walla Walla County Superior Court.
David A. Pickett, 35, of 53752 Appleton Road, No. 61, Milton-Freewater, is scheduled for trial Nov. 29 and 30 on the 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 on suspicion of being a fugitive from another state and for a parole violation.
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 was transported to the Walla Walla County Jail on Sept. 28 to face the local charges. Bail was set at $25,000. Police said he had been arrested more than 15 times in the past and has a lengthy criminal history of drug crimes and other offenses.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.