Man faces charges in police chases

Elliott W. Barnes is accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle three times.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man arrested for allegedly leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed vehicle chase this month pleaded innocent Tuesday afternoon to committing that crime and charges related to two previous pursuits in which he wasn't apprehended.

Elliott W. Barnes, 26, of 1702 Old Milton Highway, is scheduled to stand trial starting April 19 in Walla Walla County Superior Court. He is charged with a total of three counts of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and one count each of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, third-degree driving while suspended, and possession of a stolen firearm.

The latest chase occurred Feb. 8, according to authorities. Officers arrived at Barnes' residence shortly before 3 p.m. that day to serve a warrant, but he allegedly drove off heading west on the highway.

Barnes then headed south on Peppers Bridge Road while being pursued into Oregon by numerous patrol vehicles, and finally stopped on Locust Road between Winesap Road and the Old Milton Highway, officials said.

Barnes and other occupants allegedly fled from the vehicle, but Barnes was taken into custody a short time later after being located in a wood shed of a private residence.

He later was treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center for minor injuries he suffered while fleeing from officers, then booked into the County Jail, according to a news release.

After he was jailed, prosecutors filed additional charges against him. He's accused of leading officers on pursuits that originated in the west end of the city on Feb. 5 and last year, on July 30.

He wasn't apprehended during either of those chases. But the vehicle he allegedly was driving Feb. 5 was located and a stolen handgun was found on the floor below the driver's seat, officials said.

Barnes is a four-time convicted felon, according to a police report. He pleaded guilty in 2009 to felony eluding for leading officers on a high-speed, 18-mile chase in a stolen vehicle from Walla Walla into Oregon in February of that year. He subsequently was sentenced to just over a year in prison.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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