Walla Walla man receives jail sentence in pursuit case

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WALLA WALLA — A local man will begin serving a three-month jail sentence this week for leading a Walla Walla police officer on a vehicle chase in June in the southwest part of the city.

At his sentencing Monday, Hugo C. Hernandez, 29, of 327 Myrtle St., was ordered to serve the low end of the three- to eight-month standard-range penalty he faced considering his criminal history.

He was credited for the day he spent in the County Jail before being released on a bail bond pending the outcome of his case.

In imposing the low-end sentence, Superior Court Judge Scott Wolfram went along with a prosecution recommendation included in a plea agreement.

Wolfram also ordered Hernandez to pay a total of $1,661 in court costs and fees.

Hernandez is to report to the jail Thursday evening. Wolfram said he will consider allowing him to serve the time in partial confinement for work release.

Hernandez pleaded guilty July 29 to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Police say the June 3 chase began about 2:40 a.m. near the 1800 block of Plaza Way when Officer Nicholas Henzel spotted a dark gray Mazda3 accelerate and turn abruptly east onto Tietan Street.

Hernandez was driving about 60 mph, turned north onto Fourth Avenue, east onto Orchard Street, south onto Third Avenue and west down the alley between Kenneth Street and Orchard with Henzel in pursuit.

Hernandez then stopped the vehicle, got out and was arrested at gunpoint.

Breath tests reportedly revealed his blood-alcohol level at over 0.13. The legal limit is 0.08.

But the prosecution agreed to drop a charge of driving under the influence, in addition to one count of not physically possessing a valid operator’s license, in exchange for Hernandez’s guilty plea to the eluding charge.

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