by Aaron Gibson, January 19, 2016
A Ripley woman accused of leading police on a car chase above 100 miles per hour will be spending 30 months in prison.
Rebecca A. Knisley pleaded guilty in Brown County Common Pleas Court to one count of third-degree felony failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, and was sentenced by Judge Scott T. Gusweiler to 30 months in prison with a mandatory three years post-release control on Friday, Jan. 15.
Additionally, Knisley will have her driver’s license suspended for the next 10 years and was recommended to be placed in the Ohio Reformatory for Women’s Tapestry program.
As part of Knisley’s plea, two counts of first-degree misdemeanor operating a vehicle under the influence were dropped.
Knisley could have received a maximum sentence of 36 months in prison.
According to prosecutors, the pursuit began in Georgetown the evening of July 22, 2015 after Georgetown Police Lieutenant Robert Gifford attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a silver four-door 2002 Pontiac operated by Knisley.
While inside Georgetown village limits, Knisley allegedly ran several stop signs and traffic lights at 80 miles per hour, then turned onto US-68 and accelerated her vehicle to speeds surpassing 100 miles per hour.
“Once out on US-68, the initial officer had to approach speeds of 130 miles per hour,” First Assistant Prosecutor Zac Corbin said, adding, “Speeds were pretty excessive trying to catch up to Ms. Knisley.”
The chase ended on Ripley Road in Union Township after Knisley allegedly crashed her vehicle attempting to make a turn into a driveway. After the wreck, Knisley and her two passengers fled the vehicle and hid, according to prosecutors.
“One girl made it into the weeds, the other two went into the woods, but they all eventually came out once the officers ordered them out,” Corbin said. “I think they just basically acknowledged they weren’t gonna get away, and a bad situation had already become worse, and they didn’t want to make it even worse for themselves.”
No injuries were reported as a result of the wreck, and the two passengers did not face any charges in connection with the pursuit.
Once in custody, Knisley allegedly admitted she was under the influence of Vicodin, a prescription medication which contains the controlled substance hydrocodone. A urinalysis also confirmed Knisley had a heroin metabolite at a concentration greater than 200 nanograms per milliliter in her system.
In a handwritten letter sent to Judge Scott T. Gusweiler prior to sentencing, Knisley explained she did not stop for police out of fear, saying, “I was scared, and I just reacted.”
Brown County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted Georgetown Police in the pursuit.
—Brown County Crime Reporter January 22, 2016 2:18 AM EST
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