A fugitive who led lawmen on a chase through two counties has been sent to the state penitentiary for four years.
The defendant, Kenneth Jason Franklin, 43, of Palmer entered a guilty plea before Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to the charge of evading arrest with risk to others. He was given a four-year sentence as a Range-Two offender. The range means he has a prior criminal record and will have to serve 35 percent of his sentence before his first chance of early release on parole. He will also have to make $985 restitution for a fence he destroyed during the chase.
Franklin’s sentence comes after his Ford F-150 was spotted by sheriff’s investigator Jody Cavanaugh parked in Stroud Cemetery on Morrison-Viola Road.
“I attempted to stop him due to having a warrant on him as well as his passenger, Tammy Franklin,” Cavanaugh recalled. “I got out and ordered him to stop. He put the vehicle in drive and took off through a field.”
The chase was on as Franklin crashed through a fence belonging to Greg Hullett, causing over $500 worth of damage. Other officers joined the investigator as Franklin led them on a high-speed chase down Morrison-Viola Road.
“He refused to stop and continued to travel at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles, putting other drivers at risk,” Cavanaugh swore in his warrant against Franklin.
The pursuit then turned onto Highway 108 as Franklin made a dash for his home county. However, it was there, in Grundy County where the chase was brought to an end by Grundy County lawmen. He also faces charges in Grundy County. His prison time will be served concurrently, or at the same time, as his time for violation of probation.