What started as a traffic stop because a driver avoided an intersection at Main and Welch in Booneville, turned into a high speed chase involving three law enforcement agencies last week. The chase ended in the Paint Rock community and one suspect remains at large.
One person was arrested at the end of the chase but the driver of the vehicle, identified as Terry Luther, Jr., 35, of Booneville, fled on foot. A cash reward was offered for information leading to Luther’s arrest on the Magazine Police Department’s Facebook page.
According to a Booneville Police Department incident report, officer Kevin Kimbrell executed a traffic stop on a tan Dodge pick up on Monday, April 8 after it avoided the intersection. The vehicle stopped in front of the Dollar General Store.
Luther and a male passenger, Scott McLaughlan, 57, then got out of the vehicle but were instructed to get back in the truck.
According to a statement by Marissa Organ, 21, another passenger, identified as Amanda Nietert, 32, of Charleston, then told Luther to put the vehicle in drive and not stop.
Luther complied with Nietert’s instructions and McLaughlan jumped out as he took off. In her statement, Organ indicated she owned the vehicle and felt she should stay, but also said Luther did not have permission to be driving at that time.
BPD investigator Rusty Lewis took McLaughlan to the police station while Kimbrell and BPD Chief Al Brown pursued the pick up along Plum Street north to Brewer, Cotton and Circle T roads toward Mt. Pisgah Road.
Magazine Police Chief Boyd Hicks then assisted in the chase and, according to his incident report, Luther twice forced him off the road, attempting to “ram him” the second time.
Logan County Sheriff’s Department officers also entered the chase.
Hicks chased the vehicle onto Highway 109 and it eventually entered private property driving through three fences before being parked behind a mobile home on Paint Rock Road.
There Nietert and Organ were detained. Nietert was later formally arrested. Luther ran off into the woods.
A nearby resident told investigators Luther entered their home and prevented them from answering a knock at the door when Hicks attempted to warn neighbors of Luther’s potential presence. Hicks’ report states he was told by the resident Luther broke into the home, changed clothes, stole some items and fled back into the woods. Deputies located Luther’s flip flops and a bottle of liquor taken from the home, according to Hicks’ report.
The search for Luther took officers to another home they surrounded, but he was not found there, according to Hicks’ report. The search was later called off.
Nietert initially refused to provide her name to officers, according to LCSD reports. Reports also state that Neitert resisted arrest.
According to incident reports, after being placed in the LCSD patrol unit, Nietert kicked out the rear passenger window, causing an estimated $675 worth of damage, and attempted to exit the vehicle. A deputy pulled her back inside the vehicle. Leg irons were then placed on her legs and a hobble restraint was added, incident reports state.
Nietert was then placed in a Paris Police Department unit and transported to the Logan County Detention Center in Paris, according to reports.
As a female Paris Police Department officer was searching Nietert, she ran, exiting the building before a door could be closed, according to reports. Paris Police Chief John O’Brien was outside the door and caught Neitert, reports state. The female officer was then able to complete the search which yielded two knives and a handcuff key, according to incident reports.
Nietert has been charged with criminal mischief in the second degree, resisting arrest, criminal impersonation, destroying, damaging or vandalizing property, second degree escape, furnishing prohibited articles into a jail and battery in the third degree. She is being held on a $5,000 bond and she is scheduled to appear in court on May 10.