Pocatello man sentenced to probation for multiple high-speed chases - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Pocatello man sentenced to probation for multiple high-speed chases

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POCATELLO — A man who was involved in multiple high-speed chases in 2023 has been sentenced to probation in Bannock County with one more felony charge outstanding in Power County.

Bret Harold Charlton, 61, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of attempting to elude an officer and a misdemeanor charge for leaving the scene of an accident after reaching a plea deal with the Bannock County Prosecutor’s Office, according to court records. As part of the deal, numerous charges were dismissed — including two additional counts of attempting to elude an officer and a felony drug possession charge.

At a May 13 hearing, District Judge Rick Carnaroli suspended prison sentences of five and two years. If they are implemented, the prison sentences will be served concurrently. Charlton was instead ordered to serve five years probation with the requirement he complete drug treatment and mental health treatment programs.

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Charlton was arrested last June after his involvement in multiple high-speed chases spanning the previous three months.

He was first pursued in March, after a Pocatello police officer found him passed out inside a running vehicle in a gas station parking lot with an opened alcohol container in his lap. The officer woke Charlton in order to speak with him, but Charlton instead raced away, driving recklessly.

Officers pursued at first but ended their chase due to safety concerns.

Ten days later, a Pocatello police officer attempted a traffic stop on Charlton’s Chevrolet Malibu, which was the vehicle involved in the earlier chase. Rather than stopping, Charlton sped away through the Idaho State University campus.

Again, due to safety concerns, officers did not pursue.

He was eventually caught when an officer involved in one of the pursuits matched him as the driver, using his driver’s license photo.

In addition to probation, which includes a 60-day discretionary jail sentence, Charlton has been ordered to pay $745.50 in fees and fines. His driving privileges have been suspended for three years.

Charlton will now face the court system in Power County, where he was involved in an additional high-speed chase in 2023. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing before Magistrate Judge Paul Laggis on May 28.