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Redwood Falls, Minn., man pleads guilty to 38-mile chase with police

OLIVIA — A man who led law officers on a 38-mile, high-speed chase in Renville County entered guilty pleas on Wednesday to charges resulting from the Dec. 3 incident.

Brian Noel Hester, 46, of Redwood Falls, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and a gross misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired.

Hester is expected to be sentenced to 35 months in prison as part of a plea agreement reached in the case, according to Renville County Assistant Attorney Laurence Stratton.

Hester has prior convictions for fleeing a police officer in Redwood County, as well as a previous assault conviction, according to court records.

As part of the agreement, charges of second-degree assault, a second DWI charge, and open bottle and driving after cancellation were dismissed.

The Renville County Attorney’s office had previously dismissed two original charges of first-degree attempted murder, citing a lack of evidence. No officers were injured during Hester’s attempt to elude them.

District Judge Randall Slieter also dismissed a charge of assault in the second degree – dangerous weapon, ruling that there was a lack of probable cause for it.

According to the complaint, an officer who recognized Hester and knew that his license was cancelled began the pursuit on Dec. 3 when Hester drove by him near Franklin.

The complaint alleges that the chase reached speeds of 75 to 80 miles per hour, and that Hester drove his pickup truck through the city of Morton at 65 to 70 miles an hour.

The complaint also alleged that Hester had struck a squad car placed in a field approach to block his escape, and had directed or aimed his vehicle at an officer while driving around a road block on a road. No officers were injured in the incident.

Hester was apprehended after officers executed a maneuver to stop his vehicle in Redwood Falls. He allegedly had a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent, or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Hester remains in the Renville County Jail, where he has been held since his arrest on the day of the chase. Sentencing is expected to be held in May.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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