Plea deal discussed in fugitive siblings case
WALSENBURG, Colo. (AP) — Attorneys in Colorado discussed a possible plea deal on Monday for two brothers accused in a series of crimes in several states.
The Pueblo Chieftain reported that Ryan Dougherty (DOCK-er-tee) and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty were granted a stay in proceedings until Jan. 30 so that federal and Florida prosecutors can decide what they want to do in the case.
The brothers — and their sister — face five counts each in Colorado of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and other felony charges related to a high speed chase and what authorities say was a shootout before their capture Aug. 10.
The sister, Lee Grace Dougherty, pleaded not guilty last month. Her trial is set for Feb. 21.
Ryan, 21, Dylan, 26, and Lee Grace, 29, are accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida and robbing a bank in Georgia. They also are suspected of two car thefts in Utah.
Judge Claude Appel on Monday ordered separate trials for the siblings, each of whom is being held in lieu of $1.25 million bail at the Huerfano County Jail.
Attempted murder, the more serious of the Colorado charges, carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison, but that could be increased to 48 years if it's found to be a crime of violence under Colorado law, according to Pueblo County District Attorney Bill Thiebaut.
The Doughertys are accused of firing an AK-47 at pursuing officers before running over spike strips, blowing a tire, rolling their vehicle and crashing into a guardrail. No officers were hurt. Lee Grace Dougherty was shot in the leg after getting out of the crashed vehicle and aiming a gun at an officer, authorities said.
"I deserved to get shot," she said, according to an arrest affidavit.
According to the affidavit, when asked about gunfire heard during the chase, Lee Grace Dougherty said the siblings weren't trying to hurt anyone and just wanted officers to get back.
The three are accused of robbing a Valdosta, Ga., bank and firing on a police officer in Zephyrhills, near Tampa in central Florida. The officer was chasing their car when one of the suspects began shooting at his police cruiser, disabling it, the FBI said.
A police detective has testified in Colorado that Ryan Dougherty told him the crime spree was hatched the day after he was sentenced to register as a sex offender. Ryan Dougherty allegedly said the trio planned to rob a bank in Georgia and use the money to flee to Mexico.
Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com