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Inmate allowed to go to urgent care leads officers on high-speed chase, police say

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — An inmate who was allowed to go to the doctor did not return to jail and got into a high-speed chase with officers, police say.

Timothy J. Charbonneau, 37, had been in the Bonneville County Jail on multiple drug charges and probation violations. On Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m., a judge signed an order allowing Charbonneau’s temporary release to visit Sterling Urgent Care for three and a half hours, according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com.

However, by 11 p.m. that day, Charbonneau had not returned to the jail, and a warrant was issued for felony escape.

On Dec. 20 around 2 a.m., an Idaho Falls Police officer tried stopping a white Jeep Liberty with fake registration near Tulane and Skyline drives. The Jeep stopped for a moment when the officer activated overhead lights, but the driver sped away, reaching 100 mph in a 25 mph zone on Saturn Avenue.

A pursuit followed onto the highway, then back into a neighborhood before the Jeep went into Jefferson County and out of sight of officers.

Witnesses at the house where the Jeep left from said Charbonneau was the driver and owner of the Jeep. As the investigation continued, a woman arrested on Friday said she sat in the passenger seat of the Jeep as Charbonneau sped away from police.

Law enforcement eventually located and took Charbonneau into custody Saturday after a foot chase around 11 p.m.

Charbonneau is now charged with felony escape and felony eluding. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 14.

Although Charbonneau is accused of crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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