Austin man pleads not guilty in high-speed chase

Published 10:11 am Friday, October 14, 2016

ALBERT LEA — An Austin man charged with leading authorities on a high-speed chase earlier this month in Albert Lea entered provisional not guilty pleas Thursday in Freeborn County District Court.

Coniah Emmerson Horton, 32

Coniah Emmerson Horton, 32

Coniah Emmerson Horton, 32, is charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, fourth-degree burglary, fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Court documents state Horton was arrested after an Albert Lea Police Department officer initiated a traffic stop at about 10:45 p.m. near the intersection of James Avenue and Fourth Avenue.

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Horton reportedly accelerated his vehicle to about 41 mph and blew through a stop sign at the intersection of St. John Avenue and East Fifth Street, court documents state.

After turning east on Sixth Street and again accelerating, Horton reportedly ran through another stop sign before cutting into oncoming traffic.

Court documents state Horton turned west on Fifth Street and accelerated to nearly 60 mph, weaving into oncoming traffic.

He reportedly could not navigate a bend in the road on Virginia Place, resulting in the vehicle going over a curb and resting partially in a yard.

Horton was found and taken into custody on the 300 block of East Seventh Street after a K-9 search reportedly noticed a door partially ajar on an unattached garage.

In a Mirandized statement with an officer, Horton reportedly nodded when an officer asked him if he had fled to avoid going to jail and admitted to not having a valid driver’s license.

A settlement conference is scheduled for Jan. 11 and a jury trial is scheduled for April 25, if the case has not been settled by then.

Fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle carries a maximum sentence of three years and one day in jail and a $5,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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