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Drunken driver who led police on chase pleads guilty

Plea agreement calls for about 5 years in prison

Posted: September 25, 2012 - 12:01am
Devin W. Moorhouse, 27, appears in Juneau Superior Court on Monday for a change of plea hearing.  Moorehouse pleaded guilty to felony failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, misdemeanor assault and driving under the influence.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Devin W. Moorhouse, 27, appears in Juneau Superior Court on Monday for a change of plea hearing. Moorehouse pleaded guilty to felony failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, misdemeanor assault and driving under the influence.

A Juneau man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase through the Mendenhall Valley in May has entered into a plea agreement that calls for a five-year, one-month prison sentence.

Devin W. Moorhouse, 27, appeared in Juneau Superior Court Monday and pleaded guilty to three of the seven charges against him.

Prosecutors said Moorhouse’s blood alcohol content was 0.327 when he barreled through several red lights, evaded police and grazed a police vehicle during the May 8 chase. Moorhouse was arrested after he crashed his truck into a tree in a front yard of a residential neighborhood.

District Attorney David Brower said Moorhouse ignored a passenger’s pleas to stop during the incident, which police said lasted less than 10 minutes. The passenger, Corena Willard, 33, injured her knee in the crash and had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital, Brower said.

Moorhouse was originally facing two felony counts for failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, one felony count for assault for placing Willard in fear of imminent serious physical injury and three other misdemeanors for driving under the influence, driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license and criminal mischief.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to one of the felony counts for failing to stop and two misdemeanor counts for assault and drunken driving. The remaining charges were dismissed.

The plea deal calls for Moorhouse to serve four years for the felony failure to stop, one year for the assault and six months with five months suspended for driving under the influence.

The deal also requires Moorhouse to pay restitution for the damaged police vehicle and tree.

Judge Philip Pallenberg said he would decide whether to accept the plea deal at a sentencing hearing, which was scheduled for mid-November.

Brower noted in court that Moorhouse had two prior felony convictions, one of which was for a 2004 burglary and the other for a probation violation.

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

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