ESCANABA - An Alabama man was recently sentenced to 12 months in jail for fleeing police prior to crashing a stolen car into an Escanaba home while driving drunk last year.
Justin Wayne Childress, 28, of Albertville, Ala., was sentenced on three charges in Delta County Circuit Court on Friday. All three sentences will be served concurrently.
Childress was ordered to spend 12 months in jail for a driver fleeing and eluding police. He was sentenced to nine months in jail for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, second offense. His driver's license was revoked.
Sentencing on the third charge of unlawfully driving away an automobile was also nine months in jail.
Childress was given credit on each count for 100 days he served in jail. He was ordered to be on probation for two years on the drunken driving charge and the stolen vehicle charge. Total fines and costs on the three counts amounted to $1,054. He was also ordered to pay $8,400 restitution.
Childress was arrested Nov. 4, 2011, after he crashed a stolen 2004 Pontiac Bonneville into a house on the 200 block of North 10th Street. The accident occurred at 1:13 a.m., after he failed to stop for police who were attempting to pull him over after a semi truck was reported struck earlier by the same vehicle.
Childress led police on a high-speed chase in Escanaba with speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour. The chase ended when Childress lost control of the car and crashed into the home.
He was extricated from the car with the Jaws of Life, transported to OSF St. Francis Hospital, then transferred to Marquette General Hospital. He was later discharged to police and lodged in Delta County Jail in lieu of a $25,000 cash bond.
The defendant had pleaded no contest to each of the three charges because of his intoxication at the time of the incident and his lack of memory of what happened.
Prior to sentencing, Childress apologized to the city of Escanaba and to the police officers involved in the chase.
Judge Stephen Davis described the incident as an "extremely dangerous situation" where someone could have easily been injured or killed.
The stolen vehicle was totaled and the house received minimal damage in the crash, according to Escanaba Public Safety.