A truck thief who left his loaded gun in the stolen vehicle after he ran from lawmen has been sentenced to a half year behind bars.
The defendant, Bryan J. Christian, 32, was a convicted felon, meaning his possession of the firearm was a felony in itself. His felony conviction happened in 2003 when he was caught operating a meth lab. He was directed by Circuit Court Judge Bart Stanley to serve 180 days of a four-year sentence and will also be required to forfeit the weapon as part of his plea deal.
Christian’s jail time comes after sheriff’s investigator Steven Carpenter spotted him in the Northgate Center parking lot. A run of the tag revealed the 2001 Chevy truck had been reported stolen from White County two weeks prior.
“I asked him to get out of the vehicle,” Carpenter said as he approached the suspect. “He put the truck in drive and drove off at a high rate of speed.”
The chase was on at that point as Carpenter fell in behind the pickup with his lights and siren on trying to get Christian to stop.
“He refused to stop, passing vehicles and running stop signs, putting other drivers at risk,” Carpenter swore in his warrants against the suspect.
Christian eventually stopped at the intersection of Post Road and Nashville Highway and was put on the ground by officers. A passenger ran from the scene on foot and was able to evade capture.
Christian’s arrest for evading arrest and reckless endangerment was only the start of his problems as later that day, the truck was being inventoried before being released to its rightful owner.
“Found in the storage compartment was a glass pipe wrapped in toilet paper,” Carpenter revealed, noting that brought drug paraphernalia charges. “There was a Kel-Tec 32-caliber pistol located in the glove compartment of the truck. The gun was loaded with one in the chamber.”
Christian will be required to undergo a drug and alcohol assessment as part of his sentence. Charges of evading arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed as part of his plea bargain.