Thursday, April 20, 2006
Woman faces charges after two-county chase
By BARRY BURLESON
A Byhalia-Victoria area woman was taken into custody Tuesday, April 11, accused of leading officers on a high speed chase the day before through parts of Marshall and DeSoto counties.
Byhalia Police Chief Mike Novay said Kimberly Brents, 20, is charged with felony evading police officers and numerous other traffic violations, including disregard for traffic devices and improper passing.
“She was endangering people’s lives,” Novay said about the felony charge.
Novay said the incident started Monday, April 10, at 11:08 a.m. when officer Brian Rodgers observed a 1996 green Toyota with a DeSoto County tag entering the city on Highway 309 at Tunstall Road at a high rate of speed, 85 to 90 miles per hour.
“She was driving in the center of the road and running people off the road on both sides,” Novay said.
He said Rodgers caught up with the driver just over the Highway 78 interchange and thought he was going to get her to stop but she sped away again, continuing north on 309.
“As she passed Northcentral (Electric Power), she ran three more cars off the road with disregard for all people’s safety,” Novay said. “She was using the vehicle as a weapon at that point.”
Novay said the suspect ran the stop sign at 309 and Church Street, turned left and ran a stop sign at the next intersection on Church, and then never stopped at Church and 178, turning west on 178 at a high rate of speed.
“She hit triple digits (more than 100 mph) when she left Byhalia on 178,” Novay said.
At that point, Rodgers radioed dispatch to request assistance from Olive Branch authorities.
On 178, inside Olive Branch city limits, she made a left in the Bethel Road area and went back to 78, going west bound.
Chief Novay was also in pursuit, further behind Rodgers.
“It is my understanding that Olive Branch officers were trying to set up stop strips at Craft and 178; however, the vehicle exited 78 at Goodman Road and proceeded west on Goodman.”
Then Byhalia dispatch notified Southaven for assistance.
Novay said traffic was thick on Goodman and the suspect’s speed was not as fast, but “she was in the turning lane passing cars.”
He said Southaven authorities attempted to set up stop strips in the Airways area, but the suspect passed through the intersection before they were in place.
“According to information received from Southaven, she did swipe another vehicle,” Novay said. “There were no injuries and very minimal damage.”
Traffic became so congested near Interstate 55, that officers lost visual contact with the suspect and discontinued the chase at 11:25 a.m.
Novay said Horn Lake authorities later traced the automobile to a Horn Lake address and encountered the suspect Monday night.
“Our warrants were not in place at the time; then Brents came here (to Byhalia) and turned herself in Tuesday morning,” Novay said.
Brents appeared before a municipal judge Wednesday of last week.
“She was arraigned, a preliminary hearing was held, and she was bound over to the Grand Jury on all charges,” Novay said.
Bond was set at $20,000.
“We appreciated the assistance of all other agencies,” he said.
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