Fugitive from drug treatment apprehended

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WALLA WALLA — A woman has been arrested for allegedly leaving drug-offender treatment that was ordered because of her involvement in a high-speed chase through the city last winter resulting in an injury crash.

Myranda R. York, 23, was apprehended Sunday in Walla Walla on a bench warrant authorized Aug. 14 by Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann.

Police Sgt. Steve Potter said officials received a tip that someone spotted York being lifted over a fence onto property at a residence in the 1600 block of Pleasant Street. Officers contacted the homeowner who confirmed York was there and York was taken into custody without incident about 1:40 p.m., Potter said.

She was booked into the County Jail to await proceedings in which the state Department of Corrections will recommend the inpatient, treatment-based sentence she received related to the February chase and crash be revoked.

If the alternative sentence is revoked, York will serve a standard-range prison term of a year-and-a-day to 18 months.

Officials said that on Aug. 10, York aborted the six-month treatment program she had begun in June. She reportedly had been bullying other clients at a treatment facility in Spokane Valley, so was put on a bus to enter a different facility in Chehalis.

She never arrived, officials said.

York pleaded guilty in April to being an accomplice to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, an accomplice to vehicular assault and to possessing methamphetamine.

At her sentencing May 14, court Commissioner Scott Wolfram — who was filling in for Lohrmann — agreed to impose the alternative drug-offender sentence of six months in treatment and two years on community custody.

The sentence, recommended in a plea agreement between the prosecution and defense, was in lieu of the standard-range prison term.

Officials said York was a passenger in a stolen Honda Accord driven by Vernon Ray Johnson, who led police on the Feb. 19 chase before plowing into a pickup at Bryant Avenue and Howard Street. Meth was found on the passenger side of the Honda.

The pickup’s driver, Jeffrey H. Callow, 62, was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries.

But the most seriously hurt was Johnson, who reportedly suffered severe head trauma.

He walked away from an undisclosed medical rehabilitation facility on or about Aug. 17, was apprehended Wednesday in Walla Walla and taken to the Washington State Penitentiary hospital to await a disciplinary hearing for alleged probation violations related to a previous case, officials said.

Because of questions surrounding Johnson’s mental competence, he has not yet been charged in connection with the February chase.

U-B reporter Luke Hegdal contributed to this report.

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