Guilty plea withdrawn in police chase

Published 11:28 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

An Albert Lea man who was scheduled to be sentenced after pleading guilty last month in Freeborn County District Court in connection with a chase that ended when he crashed into another car and fled into a cornfield withdrew his plea Thursday.

Carlos Reyes

Carlos G. Reyes, 40, is charged with third-degree methamphetamine possession in a school zone, fifth-degree controlled substance possession, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, gross misdemeanor failing to stop for a traffic collision and misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by means other than in a motor vehicle.

Reyes pleaded guilty to three of those counts last month: fifth-degree drug possession, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation, but withdrew his plea after he learned his presumptive sentence under the deal was two years in prison, said Freeborn County Attorney David Walker.

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Court documents state Reyes was charged after the chase began when the Albert Lea Police Department attempted to pull Reyes over Aug. 21 at the intersection of Front Street and First Avenue for having a felony warrant.

Reyes reportedly accelerated to 76 mph in a 30 mph zone, past Sibley Elementary School and Southwest Middle School and then north onto U.S. Highway 69.

At the highest speed, the chase reached 90 to 100 mph and traveled to the Manchester and Hartland areas.

At the conclusion of the pursuit, Reyes reportedly struck another vehicle at the intersection of 340th Street and 730th Avenue — where Steele, Waseca and Freeborn counties come together. Reyes started running into a cornfield, and a deputy successfully followed the path of broken corn stalks and ultimately caught up with Reyes. He was found with a small black propane torch, a brown leather wallet, cash and a white, powdery substance found to be meth.

A jury trial is scheduled to start March 13, if the case has not been settled by then.

As of Friday, Reyes was in custody. 

About Sam Wilmes

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

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