Wyman gets suspended sentence, probation for 2018 high-speed chase
On Sept. 9, Gainesville resident Jackie L. Wyman pleaded guilty before Circuit Judge Craig Carter to resisting arrest by fleeing, causing a substantial risk of injury or death. The plea was in connection with an Aug. 24, 2018, high-speed chase that reportedly ended with the discovery of a pipe with methamphetamine residue found inside Wyman’s truck.
Carter sentenced Wyman to five years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. The execution was suspended, meaning Wyman will not have to spend the sentence in prison unless he violates his probation and the judge then executes the sentence. He was placed on supervised probation for a term of five years.
According to the probable cause statement in the case prepared by Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Urich, the incident began on Highway 160 near the Theodosia Bullseye station, when an eastbound gold Chevy truck with no front license plate passed the station. Urich pulled out to follow the truck and saw a Missouri rear license plate on the truck.
In Missouri, most vehicle registrations require two license plates affixed to the front and rear of the vehicle. (One exception is commercial vehicles registered for 18,000 pounds or more.) Urich also reportedly witnessed the truck swerve and cross the centerline of the highway by more than a tire width and then jerk back into the right lane. Because of the erratic driving and the missing front license plate, Urich turned on his emergency lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the statement says.
As soon as the deputy’s emergency lights were turned on, the driver of the truck sped away at a high rate of speed, the report says. Urich increased his speed with his lights and sirens on to chase after the fleeing truck. The two vehicles sped down High-way 160, crossing the Theodosia Bridge at speeds in excess of 100 mph, continuing eastbound on High-way 160. At HH Highway in Isabella, the truck turned south, and the deputy followed, observing a light-colored object thrown from the passenger’s side window as the chase continued past the VFW hall.
The truck then turned east on County Road 620, a dead-end road, and Urich followed, hearing from the Ozark County Sheriff’s dispatcher that backup deputies were getting close to his location. The truck sped down County Road 620, looping around a resort’s round-about at the end and attempting to drive the opposite way on the county road; however, the truck ran off the roadway and struck a culvert before returning to the road.
Urich wrote in his report that smoke was coming from the truck’s hood at this point, and the vehicle was sputtering and slowing down. Still, the truck continued to the end of County Road 620 and turned back north on HH High-way. Urich informed the dispatcher and other deputies in route that the truck was damaged and the vehicle pursuit would likely be coming to an end soon.
The truck reportedly crossed the centerline into the southbound lane and attempted to drive up an embankment but stalled at the top. The driver opened the door, jumped out and fled into the nearby brush, allowing the vehicle to roll backward toward Urich’s vehicle, according to the statement.
Urich maneuvered his vehicle to miss the backward-rolling truck and jumped out to secure the passenger, who was still in the truck. Urich placed the passenger into his vehicle and drove to the top of the embankment to see if he could find the driver, who had fled the scene. Addi-tional deputies arrived and joined the search.
The driver was not located, the report says, but he was identified as Wyman.
The passenger told officers the light-colored ob-ject thrown from the window during the pursuit was a needle. It was not recovered.
The truck was towed to the Ozark County impound yard, and a later inventory of the truck turned up a pink zipper bag containing a glass smoking device with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, the statement says. A marijuana plant, a small plastic bag with a green leafy substance and a Missouri driver’s license were also recovered from the truck.
On Aug. 31, Urich received information about Wyman’s whereabouts. The deputy, along with Deputy Dustin Smith, went to the residence to arrest the man. Wyman initially gave a false name and Social Security number, but Wyman’s girlfriend confirmed Wyman’s identity, and his Missouri Department of Revenue photograph also matched. Wyman was arrested and was read his Miranda rights before being transported to the Ozark County Jail.
During the ride to the jail, Wyman told officers he was the driver of the vehicle during the pursuit, the statement says. He reportedly repeated the admission at the jail.
Further investigation after Wyman’s arrest revealed that his driving privileges had been revoked and his vehicle was uninsured.