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Man pleads guilty to fleeing charge in 100 mph chase

WILLMAR -- Rodney Lee Broten, 42, of New London, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for attempting to elude a State Patrol officer at speeds exceeding 100 mph in November.

As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, two misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and uninsured vehicle were dismissed. He will be sentenced June 8.

The charges were filed after a State Patrol trooper was on patrol around 5:45 p.m. Nov. 4 and clocked a vehicle that was westbound on state Highway 55, about a mile west of Regal, at between 73 and 75 mph in a 55-mph zone. The trooper turned his squad car around and observed the radar was recording that the vehicle sped up to between 102 and 111 mph. The trooper activated his lights and followed the vehicle into Stearns County into Georgeville and then into Kandiyohi County on County Road 9.

During the pursuit, the driver of the vehicle turned off his headlights and continued at between 100 to 110 mph. At the intersection with County Road 35, the vehicle overshot the intersection, went into the ditch and then continued westbound before stopping.

The driver, who was identified as Broten, got out of the vehicle and lay in the roadway. Broten said he turned off his headlights because he thought the officer would no longer be able to see him and discontinue the pursuit. He also said he ran from the trooper because he hadn't transferred the title to the vehicle and didn't have insurance.