Man who ran from police ‘to pick up his girlfriend’ now headed to prison
REXBURG — A man who crashed his car into a canal after a police chase last year will be going to prison.
Alexander Stephen Pace, 25, was sentenced on March 15 to spend two-and-a-half to five years in prison after pleading guilty to a felony eluding charge. District Judge Steven Boyce handed down the sentence while ordering the suspension of Pace’s driver’s license for a year after his release from prison.
As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to dismiss a misdemeanor resisting charge and to not refile a previously dismissed felony assault on an officer charge. The plea agreement also stipulated prosecutors would recommend Pace’s sentence be served along with a Bonneville County case.
Idaho State Police trooper tried pulling over Pace on Aug. 30 as he was driving 101 mph in a 70 mph zone on U.S. Highway 20. According to a probable cause affidavit, Pace did not stop and took an exit into St. Anthony.
Pace kept driving south toward Rexburg when a Madison County Sheriff’s deputy set up spike strips along the Salem Highway. As the deputy went to throw the spike strips to end the pursuit, Pace swerved directly into the direction of the deputy. At the last second, he turned the other direction.
“I later spoke with (the deputy), who told me he feared he was going to be struck by the vehicle,” a trooper wrote in court documents.
After swerving, Pace lost control, drove off the road and into a field. When in the field, Pace drove several hundred yards before crashing into a canal filled with water. He got out of the submerged car and kept running.
After jumping over several barbed wire fences and through another canal, Pace stopped, lied down on the ground and was arrested.
“He said he didn’t stop because he wanted to pick up his girlfriend,” according to the probable cause.
Pace has run from police before. He is on parole until October 2021 for a felony eluding from law enforcement charge in Butte County, according to the Idaho Department of Correction.