Chesnet Pleads Guilty in High-speed Chase, Camp Break-in

CLEARFIELD – A former DuBois man pleaded guilty Monday to leading police on a high-speed chase and breaking into a camp.

Donald Lee Chesnet, 25, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft by unlawful taking, fleeing or attempting to elude police, driving under the influence, criminal mischief, possession of drug paraphernalia and several traffic summaries.

President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman sentenced him to a total of nine months to two years less one day in jail and two years consecutive probation.

Ammerman questioned why Chesnet had stolen sweatpants from the camp. Chesnet explained that it was swampy in the area where he was hiding and the pants he was wearing got dirty. He replaced them with the sweatpants.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 7 police were traveling on Interstate 80 in Bradford Township when they saw a vehicle pull ahead of them on the ramp westbound off state Route 970. The registration of this vehicle was invalid.

They followed the vehicle and activated their lights after crossing the bridge at the 120 exit in Lawrence Township. The vehicle kept going and then suddenly exited and continued across SR 879 back onto the on-ramp at a high rate of speed.

A pursuit of the vehicle ensued with speeds at over 100 miles per hour. During the chase, the vehicle never used any turn signals and failed to stay on the right side of the road. It turned at the 111 exit and crashed off the west side of the ramp. The operator then fled on foot.

A female passenger stayed with the vehicle. She had a bag containing marijuana and drug paraphernalia that he threw at her as he exited the vehicle.

Additional officers arrived on the scene and searched the area for the suspect. He was eventually located in a camp on Fire Break Road in Pine Township.

The driver, identified later as Chesnet, had gained access to the building by breaking the door jamb.

Chesnet was transported to Penn Highlands Clearfield for a blood test because he told an officer he had smoked marijuana earlier in the day. He admitted the sweatpants he was wearing were stolen from the camp.

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