Trial delayed for man in pursuit east of Walla Walla

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WALLA WALLA — Trial for a man accused of leading police on a vehicle chase east of the city on July 4 has been postponed in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Stephen D. Bennett, 35, had been set to face a jury beginning today on charges of attempting to elude and third-degree driving while license suspended or revoked. But he signed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial and a new start date of Dec. 16 was scheduled.

Officials said a Walla Walla police officer spotted Bennett, who had two outstanding arrest warrants, driving a Pontiac Grand Am in the 2200 block of Isaacs Avenue about 5:55 p.m. on Independence Day.

Police said Bennett sped east on Isaacs at more than 65 mph, blew through the stop light at Tausick Way and headed up Mill Creek Road.

The pursuing officer then followed Bennett onto Seven Mile Road, but had to slow because of dust, according to a police report filed in court.

The Grand Am was located abandoned at the base of a hill, and Bennett was found hiding in a dry creek bottom surrounded by tall grass. A female passenger wasn’t found.

Bennett, of 3289 Mill Creek Road, was booked into the County Jail. Bail on the Superior Court charges was set at $40,000.

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