Man who led deputy on chase sentenced to jail

LISBON – A Lisbon area man who led a sheriff’s deputy on a high speed motorcycle chase in October was sentenced by Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Mark Frost on Monday to 44 days in the county jail.

Devon Allen, 22, Glasgow Road, Lisbon, pleaded no contest to failure to comply, no license, reckless operation, speeding and expired registration. The failure to comply charge was reduced from a felony fleeing and eluding charge.

Defense attorney Chris Amato attributed his client’s actions to being “young, dumb and blowing off steam.” He added there were no drugs or alcohol involved, just a young man who bought a bike and made a bad decision.

While Amato suggested Allen, who served his country as a Marine, would like to do less jail time, Assistant County Prosecutor Don Humphrey Jr. asked Frost to stay with the agreed upon 44 days. Humphrey said it was part of the plea agreement, which included dropping the felony charge and he noted someone could have been injured during Allen’s quest to flee from Deputy Richard Kimble.

According to reports at the time, Kimble attempted to stop the sports bike Allen was riding while it was southbound on state Route 7 near the intersection of Clarkson Road. The bike had an expired California license plate on it.

What followed was a chase which lasted 10 miles and with speeds of up to 90 mph. Allen continued onto state Route 267 into Glenmoor, then onto Irish Ridge Road and finally southbound on state Route 11. Besides Kimble other police departments in St. Clair Township, Liverpool Township and East Liverpool joined the pursuit to attempt to stop him.

Allen crashed on the entrance ramp to state Route 7 in East Liverpool, where he had tried to pass a semi truck but struck gravel, which caused him to crash on the left side of the ramp which heads toward Wellsville.

“We have to send a message to all those drivers who are being pulled over, making that split decision ‘am I going to run from this officer,'” Humphrey said, adding at some point for those growing up watching the “Dukes of Hazzard,” running from the police became commonplace and acceptable. “The reality is we have to bring this kind of behavior to a stop.”

Frost noted the irony is Allen was sworn to protect his fellow citizens as a Marine and then his behavior placed them in danger.

“I sure don’t want you to risk your own life,” Frost said, “but you do not have the right to endanger other people’s lives.”

Frost also suggested those who grew up watching the “Dukes of Hazzard” are older than Allen, possibly riding Hoverounds. Humphrey responded the show is in syndication. According to the website Internet Movie Database (IMDb), the “Dukes of Hazzard” original series aired from 1979 to 1985.

In addition to the jail time, Allen was fined $400 and had his license suspended for six months, although he was granted limited driving privileges.