Police pursuit in Walla Walla nets time-served sentence for eluder


WALLA WALLA — A local man was sentenced Monday afternoon to time-served after pleading guilty to leading law enforcement on a chase through northeast areas of the city a month ago.

Joshua M. Hunter, 30, of 1624 Walla Walla Ave., was ordered to serve 30 days in the County Jail, with credit for the 30 days he’d served. He then was released, but will spend a year on community custody, a form of probation, with a requirement for alcohol treatment and other monitoring.

The sentence, recommended by the prosecution and imposed by Superior Court Judge John Lohrmann, is the midpoint of the standard range of up to 60 days Hunter faced on the charge of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Hunter also must pay at least $1,637 in court costs and fees.

In exchange for his guilty plea, related counts of driving under the influence and third-degree driving while license suspended or revoked were dismissed.

In handing down the sentence, Lohrmann told Hunter, “It’s a frightening, scary thing to happen,” adding, “I hope you’ve given that quite a bit of thought.”

Officials said the chase began about 11:15 p.m. on March 16 when a county sheriff’s deputy saw a pickup — driven by Hunter — turn onto Isaacs Avenue near Wellington Avenue with headlights off.

As the deputy attempted a traffic stop, Hunter turned north onto Wellington, started to speed up, then fishtailed and spun out his rear wheels.

The pursuit involving several law enforcement units continued along various streets and avenues, including Walla Walla, Bellevue and Melrose.

At times, Hunter failed to stop at stop signs, slid through a roadway, and nearly hit telephone and power poles, officials said. Speeds were clocked at more than 70 mph.

Hunter ended up at his home where he was arrested.


ike 1 year, 11 months ago

It's amazing that a pursuit is so dangerous to people on the road and so many people at risk of being injured or killed, yet it only warrants 30 days jail. This is not a deterrent for reoffending or someone else that decides to run from the police. Judge... You need to draw a harder line for running from the police.


PearlY 1 year, 11 months ago

This is hard to understand. Assuming he was charged correctly, he was driving drunk, on a suspended license (meaning it was probably not his first drunk driving offense), ran from the police, ran stop lights or red lights, putting people in danger of their lives, and for all that, he gets 30 days in exchange for a plea of guilty?

It's pure good luck the guy didn't kill someone. Next time - and there obviously will be a next time - the luck may run out. He's probably laughing all the way to the gas station.

Are we maxed out on space in the county jail, short a prosecutor or adequate court personnel, or what?


wallyworldguy 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow- way to slap him on the hand judge !!!!


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