A Bellevue man's decision to go directly to jail Monday for fleeing from police and causing an accident is unusual but not unique, a Sarpy County assistant prosecutor said.
Shane E. Clark, 28, was charged Dec. 10 in Sarpy County Court with felony operation of a vehicle to avoid arrest, driving with a suspended license and willful reckless driving. Just three weeks later, the felony was amended to a misdemeanor, and Clark pleaded guilty to all three charges.
“It is unusual in that he wanted immediate sentencing,” Deputy County Attorney Jason Caul said Wednesday. “The odds of going to jail are higher then because the judge doesn't have access to a pre-sentencing investigation that might mitigate his jail time. In this case, the judge maxed him out.”
Judge Robert Wester sentenced Clark to one year for driving to avoid arrest, 90 days for reckless driving and 90 days for driving with a suspended license. The sentences will be served one after the other.
John Hascall, an assistant public defender, said Clark's choice of an immediate sentencing was a surprise.
“He told the judge that he took full responsibility for his actions and that he just wanted to get moving,” Hascall said. “He had injured his back in the crash and felt he would rather go to the State Penitentiary because he would get better treatment than in county jail.”
Clark, who also had his driver's license revoked for one year, has served two previous prison terms and has also served time in county jail.
During the latest incident, he was speeding north on Railroad Avenue the night of Dec. 4 when he passed a Bellevue police officer who was going the other way.
Clark ran a red light at Gilmore Avenue while fleeing from the officer and collided with a vehicle. He continued to drive the damaged car until it broke down about a quarter of a mile away, where he was arrested and taken to the Nebraska Medical Center.
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