Teen jailed in car chase
By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS – A Baraga teen will spend eight months in the Iron County Jail for his part in a stolen car chase that started in Iron River and spanned four Upper Peninsula counties.
Shad Kenneth Bryan, 18, also must serve three years of probation and pay $1,855.32 in restitution to the owner of the vehicle and the Michigan State Police.
Bryan was sentenced on one felony count of fleeing a police officer-third degree-vehicle code. An additional felony count of unlawful driving away of a motor vehicle was dismissed in a plea deal.
The charges against Bryan stem from an Oct. 28 incident.
According to Michigan State Police troopers, Bryan and 18-year-old Devin Curtis of L’Anse stole a 2011 Subaru Outback from the parking lot of Angeli’s Central Market in Iron River.
When troopers attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle on U.S. 141 in Hematite Township, the vehicle would not stop.
Bryan and Curtis then led law enforcement officials on a 65-mile chase from U.S. 141 in Iron and Baraga counties, to M-28 in Baraga, Houghton, and Ontonagon counties, to U.S. 45 in Ontonagon County.
Troopers said that the driver lost control of the vehicle on U.S. 45 near Gauthier Road in Ontonagon County. Bryan and Curtis fled the scene on foot, but were apprehended the next morning.
During Bryan’s sentencing in Iron County Trial Court on Monday, his attorney Geoffrey Lawrence argued for Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) status.
Defendants who are placed under HYTA status will not have a criminal record if they successfully complete all probation requirements. Only defendants between the ages of 17 and 20 are eligible for HYTA.
“He just turned 18, he has his whole life ahead of him,” said Lawrence. “He should be given a chance to prove himself to the court.”
Lawrence added that three months in jail would be an appropriate sentence.
Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell pointed out that although there was no way to determine which teen led the crime, Bryan was the driver at some point.
She added that chase speeds reached over 100 miles per hour, and that deputies had to use stop sticks and rolling road blocks to finally stop the vehicle.
“Officers, Mr. Bryan, Mr. Curtis, and the public were in danger,” said Powell. “He’s lucky to be alive.”
When given a chance to address the court, Bryan said that he did not have anything say.
Judge C. Joseph Schwedler agreed with Powell that Bryan committed a dangerous offense.
“I certainly don’t want the message to the community to be that we don’t have to stop for police,” he said. “You put people in this community at risk of injury or death.”
As a result, Judge Schwedler decided to impose an eight-month sentence. However, he did grant HYTA status to Bryan.
Curtis has not yet had an appearance in Iron County Trial Court for his part in the crime. There is a bench warrant out for his arrest.
Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.