Plea deal reached in Iron River chase

By NIKKI YOUNK
Iron Mountain Daily News
CRYSTAL FALLS — An Iron River man likely will serve at least a year behind bars after accepting a plea deal Friday on a reduced charge stemming from a 2016 high-speed chase that left a passenger critically injured.
Tyler Roy Polich, 21, pleaded guilty in Iron County Trial Court to attempted fleeing a police officer-second degree, a five-year felony.
In exchange for the plea, special prosecutor Michael Makinen of Houghton County dismissed the original, more serious charge of fleeing a police officer-second degree, a 10-year felony, as well as an unrelated misdemeanor charge of allowing alcohol consumption by minors on premises.
Sentencing is set for Aug. 1. Polich remains in custody at the Iron County Jail.
Polich previously had asked Judge Michael Pope of Gogebic County for a Cobbs hearing, in which the judge looks at the facts of the case and tells the defendant what sentence he or she likely will impose.
Sentencing guidelines call for a minimum of seven to 23 months, and Pope estimated his sentence would fall in the range of 12 to 16 months.
If Pope ends up exceeding that sentence, he will give Polich the opportunity to withdraw his plea.
Polich admitted in court he was driving on Genesee Street in Iron River on June 20, 2016, when he passed a police squad car.
The officer activated the car’s lights and siren, but Polich didn’t stop.
“I just drove, trying to take turns and trying to lose him,” he said.
The pursuit ended when one of Polich’s passengers, 19-year-old Seth Stoychoff, “jumped out” of the still-moving vehicle, Polich told the court.
“I’m not sure how he got out,” Polich said.
Stoychoff initially was hospitalized with critical injuries at U.P. Health System-Marquette. He has since been released.
Polich was free on bond until April 1, when he was arrested for reportedly violating bond conditions by furnishing alcohol to minors and having a positive preliminary breath test.
Court staff confirmed Marquette County Prosecutor Matt Wiese is reviewing possible additional charges in Iron County against Polich from another unrelated incident. Official charges have not yet been filed in that case.
Although Polich’s case is being conducted in Iron County Trial Court, Judge C. Joseph Schwedler and Iron County Prosecutor Melissa Powell withdrew. Powell cited a conflict of interest and Schwedler noted Polich’s father, attorney Roy Polich, appears before him in court on a regular basis.

Nikki Younk can be reached at 906-774-2772, ext. 41, or nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.