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Colorado Fugitive Pleads Guilty To Casper Crash Charges

Vernon Wertz in Natrona County Court on Wednesday. Credit: Anthony Pollreisz, K2 Radio

A Colorado fugitive involved in a chase with police that ended Sunday in a downtown Casper wreck appeared in front of a judge at the Natrona County Courthouse on Wednesday.

Fresh off a hospital stay, Vernon Wertz pleaded guilty to one count of driving while intoxicated, one count fleeing the scene and one count eluding police. All three counts are misdemeanors.

Wertz was involved in a Saturday chase that began in Mills and ended just after midnight Sunday in downtown Casper. Wertz crashed his pickup into multiple utility poles near Walcott and Collins streets, knocking out power, cable, phone and internet service for several thousand Casper residents.

In court, Wertz said he had been drinking prior to the chase and blacked out after the crash.

Wertz was handed a six month jail sentence that was suspended for all but 15 days and will be credited for time spent in the hospital over the weekend and in jail on Wednesday. He was also given three months unsupervised probation.

Wertz waived his extradition back to Colorado. He will return to Colorado to face controlled substance, burglary and property damage charges upon finishing his jail time in Casper.

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