Ex-Con Pleads No Contest in Wild, High-Speed Chase

Alcatraz Prison Cellhouse interior

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An ex-con who led police on a wild, high-speed chase that ended after his car struck several vehicles, including one that overturned and left a woman injured, was sentenced Friday to 19 years in state prison.

Superior Court Judge Karla Kerlin imposed the term on Tyree Francis immediately after his no contest plea to one count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer while driving recklessly and assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of assault on a peace officer in connection with the Feb. 8, 2017, pursuit.

The 30-year-old defendant also admitted that he had a prior strike for burglary in 2013 and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury on the woman whose car overturned.

Francis led police on a high-speed pursuit on the Harbor (110) Freeway, but officers eventually lost sight of him. He was later spotted in a shopping center, where he nearly struck two Los Angeles police officers, authorities said.

One of the officers opened fire after Francis drove toward him. Neither officer was injured, and Francis was not struck by the gunfire.

Francis subsequently struck the vehicle that wound up overturning in a collision caught on police dashcam video, and officers had to pull the injured woman out of her car. She was hospitalized and wound up being out of work for 13 months after the collision, according to Deputy District Attorney Geoff Lewin.

Francis, who had allegedly successfully fled during a police chase the night before, surrendered nearby once the vehicle he was driving became disabled after striking at least two other cars, according to Lewin.

The prosecutor wrote in court papers that the Mercedes-Benz "reached speeds in excess of 100 mph" and that the defendant has "spent all but a few short years of his adult life" behind bars, including a state prison sentence for vehicular manslaughter stemming from a 2013 crash in which a 79-year-old motorist was killed when his truck was hit after Francis tried to pass another car by driving into opposing traffic.

Francis has remained in jail since his February 2017 arrest.

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