Rochester Man With Long Criminal History Admits to Felony Fleeing
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester area man now serving an 18-month prison sentence for a drug conviction in Goodhue County today entered a guilty plea to a felony charge connected to a high-speed police chase earlier this year.
38-year-old Brent Douglas Espenson admitted to a felony count of fleeing police in exchange for the dismissal of felony drug and theft charges filed against him in Olmsted and Wabasha Counties. His plea agreement recommends a 17-month prison sentence.
The criminal complaint says Espenson refused to stop for a Fillmore County deputy after he was spotted speeding on Highway 63 on April 4. The pursuit continued into Olmsted County, where the court document says the deputy observed his vehicle speeding through Stewartville at approximately 75 mph.
The deputy responded by pulling behind the speeding vehicle and activating the emergency lights and siren on the squad car. The criminal complaint states that Espenson quickly accelerated to more than 100 mph and the deputy indicated the squad car speedometer reached 120 mph and the vehicle was pulling away from him.
The vehicle pursuit ended after Espenson drove over "stop sticks" that had been deployed by Rochester police near the 48th Street interchange. The charges say Espenson and the passenger were seen "bailing out" of the vehicle as it slowed down due to its tires being flattened.
A Rochester police officer ran after Espenson and tackled him in the ditch near the Highway 52/Highway 63 interchange. His passenger managed to run to the nearby Menards Store, where he was eventually found hiding under a tree on the property.
A search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a total of 8.4 grams of methamphetamine, some marijuana, and drug paraphernalia.
Espenson is well known to law enforcement officers throughout southeastern Minnesota. His criminal record includes numerous felony convictions for drugs, assault, domestic violence, burglary, theft, and fleeing police that date back to 2003.
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Gallery Credit: Jessica Williams