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Morton man sentenced to 66 months for high-speed chase while impaired

Marcus Douglas Pendleton, 35, of Morton, pleaded guilty July 13 to felony first-degree driving while impaired and operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II drug in his body. He was sentenced Wednesday to 66 months in prison.

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Marcus Douglas Pendleton
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OLIVIA — A Morton man was sentenced Sept. 15 in Renville County District Court to 66 months in prison following an August 2020 incident when he led police on a 30-mile chase while under the influence.

Marcus Douglas Pendleton, 35, pleaded guilty July 13 to felony first-degree driving while impaired for operating a motor vehicle with a schedule I or schedule II drug — not marijuana — in his body. As part of the plea agreement, two other charges were dismissed: felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and also a gross misdemeanor for driving after cancellation — inimical to public safety.

The sentencing judge, Eighth Judicial District Judge Laurence Stratton, gave Pendleton credit for 383 days for time served and ordered five years of supervised release.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement attempted to stop Pendleton Aug. 28, 2020, after he failed to make a lane change away from two stopped squad cars during a traffic stop in Franklin.

Pendleton then led law enforcement on a 30-mile pursuit, reaching speeds of 100 mph before stop sticks deployed near Sherwood flattened one of Pendleton's tires.

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A warrant was obtained for a sample of his blood or urine after his arrest, and that sample was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing. No toxicology report is listed in the court documents, but a Minnesota BCA toxicology expert is listed as a witness for the state.

Pendleton had a previous 2014 conviction for felony driving while impaired in Renville County and his license was canceled as inimical to public safety in 2008.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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