Prescott man sentenced in high-speed chase

Sterling T. Stapleton received 50 days of house arrest for the chase earlier this year near Waitsburg.


WALLA WALLA -- A man was sentenced Monday afternoon for leading a county sheriff's deputy on a vehicle chase near Waitsburg earlier this year.

Sterling T. Stapleton was ordered to serve two months in the County Jail.

But Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann gave Stapleton credit for the 10 days he'd previously served before being released pending the outcome of his case. And Lohrmann converted the remaining 50 days to house arrest.

Stapleton also was placed on a year of community custody, a form of probation.

In imposing the home detention, Lohrmann went along with a prosecution recommendation. Stapleton could have been sentenced to up to a year in jail under state law.

Stapleton, 25, of 122 Heron Hollow Road, Prescott, pleaded guilty May 9 to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, a felony charge.

He also pleaded guilty to driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, which is a gross misdemeanor. A 30-day sentence Lohrmann imposed Monday on that charge will be served at the same time as the felony.

At Monday's hearing, Stapleton said he's been "clean and sober" since his arrest and is seeking help to stay that way.

Officials said the chase occurred the evening of Jan. 22. The deputy initially contacted Stapleton after his vehicle had stopped on the shoulder of Middle Waitsburg Road about 10:15 p.m.

When the deputy returned to his patrol vehicle to run a routine driver's check, Stapleton sped off. The deputy pursued Stapleton's vehicle -- which eventually traveled at speeds of about 80 mph -- north on Middle Waitsburg until Stapleton tried to negotiate the intersection with U.S. Highway 12 and crashed into an embankment, according to a Sheriff's Office report filed in court.

He was arrested at the scene.

Stapleton also initially was charged with second-degree driving while license suspended or revoked and driving in violation of an ignition interlock restriction. But those charges were dropped in exchange for his guilty pleas.

Terry McConn can be reached at or 526-8319.


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