Fugitive Sibling To Appear In Colo. Court

Published February 9, 2012 5:09PM (EST)

WALSENBURG, Colo. (AP) — One of the three siblings accused in a multi-state crime spree is scheduled to enter a plea deal in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, are scheduled to present a plea deal to Judge Claude Appel during a hearing, spokesman Rob McCallum said.

Prosecutors and her attorney aren't commenting, citing a judge imposed gag order. Prosecutors last week dropped attempted-murder charges against her and instead charged her with eight felony first-degree assault and menacing charges. Each charge corresponds to an officer involved in a high-speed chase Aug. 10 in southern Colorado.

Dougherty and her two brothers — Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26 — are accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida, as well as robbing a Georgia bank before being captured in southern Colorado on Aug. 10.

There's no word yet on whether the brothers have also reached plea deals. Colorado, federal and Florida prosecutors have been discussing possible plea deals involving them.

Attorneys for the siblings have questioned whether prosecutors' evidence could prove that the siblings were trying to harm or kill officers, pointing to an apparent lack of bullet holes on police cruisers involved in the chase.

One brother, Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, allegedly plotted to break out of the Walsenburg jail and had found his way into the walls and ceiling of the building. Deputies said on Jan. 10 they found a homemade knife, a letter addressed to the FBI and the note to his sister that detailed a plan to drop down on guards in the control booth at the jail.

He has since been transferred to the jail in Pueblo, 45 miles away.

Lee Grace Dougherty had been scheduled to go on trial Feb. 21. If Appel accepts the plea deal, sentencing typically would happen within two months.

By Salon Staff

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