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April 2, 2013

Judge orders $100,000 bond for Espinosa

Alleged high speed chase driver ordered not to drive

DUNCAN — After allegedly leading Duncan police on a high speed chase late Thursday morning, a Duncan High School senior made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon.

Bond for Austin Lee Espinosa, 18, was set at $100,000, and Special District Judge Jerry Herberger ordered Espinosa not to drive.

Espinosa was charged with four felony charges including three for running roadblocks and one for eluding or attempting to elude a police officer. The charge of eluding a police officer is a crime punishable by imprisonment of one to five years or a fine of $1,000 to $5,000. Each charge of running a roadblock carries a punishment of a fine up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not less than one year or more than five years.

Espinosa was arrested Thursday for a high speed pursuit ending at the Duncan High School campus.

“I do consider him a threat to society,” Herberger said.

Carl LaMar served as counsel for Espinosa for the initial appearance. LaMar, who has known Espinosa for about 1 1/2 years, was unsure if he would be able to serve as Espinosa’s permanent council because it could be seen as a conflict of interest. District Attorney Jason Hicks would have to approve LaMar serving as counsel.

As a result, Espinosa has until 2 p.m. May 10 to get permanent council.

“He is not a bad man with bad intention,” LaMar said.

LaMar said Espinosa is a senior at DHS and is studying auto body at Red River Technology Center with hopes to become an auto body technician. LaMar said Espinosa also has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder.

LaMar said no one was injured in the pursuit and the top speed of Espinosa’s vehicle reached was 62 miles per hour. That is the information originally provided by Duncan Police Lt. Bart Riley on Thursday after Espinosa was arrested.

Espinosa’s next court appearance will be for his preliminary hearing trial, which is set for 9 a.m. May 29 at the Stephens County Courthouse.

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