Woman sentenced for drug offense

Myranda R. York, involved in a high-speed chase and crash in February, was ordered into a treatment program.

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WALLA WALLA -- A passenger in a car involved in a high-speed chase through the city in February that ended in an injury crash was sentenced Monday afternoon to a residential drug-offender treatment program.

Myranda R. York, 23, of 1633 Sturm Ave., will spend six months in inpatient treatment and two years on community custody, a form of probation, according to the sentence imposed by Superior Court Commissioner Scott Wolfram.

She also was ordered to serve 120 days in the County Jail, with credit for 75 days she'd served before being released early this month on house arrest.

The remaining 45 days will be served through a combination of credit for days she remains on house arrest until a bed is available at a treatment facility and community service after she completes the treatment program.

The alternative drug-offender sentence -- in lieu of a standard-range prison term of a year-and-a-day to 18 months -- was recommended in a plea agreement between the prosecution and defense. If York violates the terms, she will go to prison.

York pleaded guilty April 19 to being an accomplice to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, accomplice to vehicular assault and to possessing methamphetamine. She told Wolfram on Monday she's "truly sorry" for committing the crimes.

Police say an officer spotted Vernon Ray Johnson -- who was suspected of having been involved in several chases this year -- driving a stolen Honda Accord in the area of Wilbur Avenue and Alder Street about 3:20 p.m. Feb. 19 and gave chase. York was Johnson's passenger.

The Honda went south, then west on Bryant until Johnson reportedly failed to stop at a stop sign at Howard Street and plowed into a northbound pickup driven by Jeffrey H. Callow, 62.

The pickup rolled twice, landing in a yard, and officers helped Callow out after the vehicle caught fire. He then was hospitalized at Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

Johnson was the most seriously hurt. He reportedly suffered severe head trauma and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment.

He reportedly was discharged from the hospital in early May. Walla Walla police Detective Miguel Sanchez said today Johnson still has difficulty walking and communicating, and currently is in a rehabilitative facility. He has yet to be charged in connection with the chase.

York was treated and released from St. Mary after the crash and was booked into the County Jail for failing to comply in a previous case.

She was charged with possessing meth because officials found a loaded syringe containing the controlled substance on the passenger side of the Honda where she was sitting, according to a court document.

Officials say York was a willing participant in the eluding, having told a visitor at the County Jail she encouraged Johnson to keep going during the chase and not to stop.

Johnson and York also were involved in two high-speed chases from which they escaped on foot, officials said. One allegedly occurred Feb. 17, ending in a crash at Sunnyside and Winesap roads. The other was Feb. 4 outside of Glenns Ferry, Idaho, according to authorities. However, apparently no charges have been filed against York related to those alleged crimes.

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