Daniels pleads not guilty to 20 charges for high-speed chase in Great Falls
By: Keeley Van Middendorp - MTN News
Daniels, Jr. eventually lost control of the car and crashed into the guardrail on the north side of the Central Ave. bridge, where the two attempted to flee on foot.
Judd Anthony Daniels, Jr., appeared in court in Great Falls on Thursday to face the 20 criminal charges in connection with a police chase and crash in February.
GREAT FALLS -
Judd Anthony Daniels, Jr., appeared in court in Great Falls on Thursday to face 20 criminal charges in connection with a police chase and crash in February.
Daniels pleaded not guilty to 16 counts of criminal endangerment, three counts of assault on a peace officer, and one count of driving with a suspended/revoked license.
Daniels and Owen Jade Hawley were taken into custody after leading police on a high-speed chase along 10th Avenue South, through downtown, and then along Central Avenue West on February 12th.
Officers spotted the car at 9:33 p.m. and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver sped away, triggering the chase. They led police on a chase along 10th Avenue South, through downtown, and then along Central Avenue West.
During the chase, a police officer saw a black handgun thrown out of the passenger side of the car; Hawley, identified as the passenger, has been charged with tampering with evidence as a result.
Speeds during the chase reached more than 60 miles per hour, according to the GFPD, and court documents and witnesses state that the driver - later identified as Daniels - "drove in a way that created substantial risk of serious bodily injury to drivers and vehicles" during the chase. In addition, Daniels nearly hit two police cars, according to court documents.
Daniels eventually lost control of the car, and crashed into the guardrail on the north side of the Central Avenue bridge. Hawley was captured immediately, but Daniels ran out on to the partially-frozen Missouri River.
Daniels was taken into custody at 10:40 p.m. and taken by ambulance to Benefis and treated for exposure.
Two GFPD officers sustained minor injuries when they began chasing after the suspects; the officers fell down the steep ice embankment at the river and were assigned to light duty as they recovered.