Kansas woman gets 5 years in Nebraska high-speed chase case

Jamie D. Russell Engstrom


A Kansas woman whose daughter was in a car pursued by Nebraska law enforcement officers at speeds topping 100 mph last winter was sentenced Monday for felony child abuse.

Jamie D. Russell Engstrom, 35, of Topeka, Kan., was sentenced in Johnson County District Court in Tecumseh, Neb., to five years in prison without the possibility of parole.

She will serve the sentence at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York, said Johnson County Attorney Julie D. Smith.

Engstrom and her 14-year-old daughter were passengers in a Ford Focus driven by her husband, Michael Engstrom, during a pursuit Feb. 13. Two state troopers and three Johnson County Sheriff's Office officials allegedly were shot at during the incident.

Jamie Engstrom pleaded guilty to child abuse in April for placing her daughter in a situation that endangered her life or health. The girl was in the back seat of the car during the chase. She was placed in state foster care.

Michael Engstrom has been charged with 19 felonies, including five counts of attempted murder in relation to the incident. He has pleaded not guilty. His case is set for jury trial Sept. 9 in Tecumseh. He was a suspect in a shooting that left a man dead and a woman injured in Topeka, Kan., the day of the Nebraska chase.

The Nebraska episode started after a robbery at the Casey's General Store in Pawnee City, Neb., about 100 miles north of Topeka. Law enforcement officers later encountered the suspect's car and gave chase. The pursuit ended with the Engstroms' capture in a farm field near St. Mary, Neb.

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