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Suspected Juneau car thief pleads guilty

Posted: March 22, 2012 - 12:10am

A Juneau man who has convicted of vehicle theft in March of last year pleaded guilty on Tuesday for stealing another car in November.

Koby W. Blake, 20, pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicle theft, attempted failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer and violating his conditions of release from prison.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez accepted a plea deal on Tuesday that sentenced Blake to serve a total of three-and-a-half years in prison.

In turn, the plea deal reduces the charge of first-degree failure to stop, a felony, into attempted failure to stop, a misdemeanor. The plea deal also dismisses one count of third-degree assault and another count of first-degree failure to stop.

Blake was arrested Nov. 26, 2011, after a person called Juneau Police Department around 2 a.m. to report that someone had entered his vehicle which was parked in his driveway on Amalga Drive. The man reported that snowfall was heavy, and the suspect left snowy footprints behind.

A responding JPD officer followed the footsteps until they abruptly ended on Deborah Drive. Suddenly, the officer heard the whine of an engine and saw a Toyota Tundra back out of a driveway, drive forward then crash into a snow berm. The officer yelled for the driver to stop, but instead the vehicle drove towards the officer, putting her in fear of being hit by the truck, according to charging documents. The officer drew her weapon, but no shots were fired.

Another responding JPD officer, in a vehicle with lights flashing, tried the stop the vehicle next. As the truck was still in drive, the driver jumped out of the driver’s seat. The truck was rolled into a snow bank, coming to a stop, while the driver fled on foot.

The officer pursued the driver by foot, and after shortly losing sight of him, found him hiding behind a shed near Delta Drive. The officer recognized the driver as Blake from previous police contacts.

Blake was arrested and taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center. He was indicted by a grand jury in early December on one felony count of first-degree vehicle theft, one felony count of third-degree assault and two felony counts of first-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer.

On Tuesday, Blake received 2 1/2 years for the first-degree vehicle theft felony charge, 6 months for the reduced attempted failure to stop charge and 6 months for violating conditions of release.

Assistant District Attorney Amy Williams said in an affidavit that Blake has seven prior criminal convictions, including vehicle theft in 2010, a felony, and attempted vehicle theft, a misdemeanor, also in 2010.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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