Judge denies release for chase suspect

The attorney for an Oak Harbor man who led police an a high-speed chase Dec. 5 tried unsuccessfully to get his client out of jail to receive better medical care.

Eddie Lee Wright, 19, pleaded not guilty Dec. 13 in Island County Superior Court to charges of attempting to elude police, second-degree malicious mischief, hit and run injury accident, hit and run attended vehicle, reckless driving, second-degree reckless endangerment and driving while license suspended or revoked.

Wright is in the Island County jail on $50,000 bond. His attorney, Tom Pacher of Coupeville, asked Judge Vickie Churchill to allow Wright to be released on personal recognizance. Pacher said Wright was injured in the accident and continues to have bleeding from an ear and other medical problems. Pacher questioned whether the jail has appropriate facilities to deal with Wright's medical problems.

The attorney also said Wright's fiance and friend were in the courtroom to support him, which he said "speaks to his stability" in the community.

Deputy Prosecutor Mike Henegen countered that Wright had engaged in "extremely serious behavior" and noted that Wright had been released on personal recognizance the day before the chase. He said Wright had been to the hospital and medical personnel said he didn't have serious injuries.

Churchill agreed with Henegen and denied any reduction in Wright's bail.

Wright was arrested on the morning of Dec. 5 after leading police on a high-speed chase through Oak Harbor, north of the city on Crescent Harbor and Silver Lake roads, and through Maple Leaf Cemetery, ending with an accident on Highway 20, according to an Island County Sheriff's report.

Police allege Wright drove at speeds up to 110 mph during the chase and struck a police car.

Wright's lone passenger, a 14-year-old girl from Oak Harbor, suffered a dislocated pelvis and a possible fractured collarbone.

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