Woman pleads guilty in high-speed pursuit case

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WALLA WALLA — A woman charged in connection with a high-speed chase in January pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to elude a police vehicle.

Catherine J. Johnson, 62, of Kennewick, entered the plea before Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann. Sentencing was set for April 15.

Officials said the pursuit involving Johnson began about 2:10 p.m. on Jan. 12 when a Walla Walla County sheriff’s deputy saw a red car going west on State Route 124 through Prescott at about 90 mph.

As police followed, the vehicle turned south onto State Route 125. Speeds reached 100 mph and, at one point, the car left the highway but re-entered the roadway, according to a Sheriff’s Office report.

The car struck a spike strip placed across the highway near Harvey Shaw Road, but continued traveling despite wheel damage. It finally stopped near the intersection of Pine Street and North 13th Avenue where Johnson was taken into custody.

At the time Johnson told authorities she didn’t stop because she was “really sick.” Officials confirmed she was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

She was released on her own recognizance on Jan. 15 with conditions.

According to the plea agreement, prosecutors are recommending a 30-day jail sentence with credit for three days served and the remainder converted to community service. The recommended sentence will also include loss of her driver’s license for a year, plus fines and court costs.

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