ST. CLOUD, Minn. - A Minnesota man has pleaded guilty in a high speed police chase that claimed the lives of two people.
Timothy Richard Gilles, age 22, aka Ricky Gilles, entered a guilty plea Thursday to two counts of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in death, and one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in substantial bodily harm.
The case dates back to April 15, 2011. On that day police officers attempted to stop a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Gilles at the intersection of Highway 15 and 2nd Street South in St. Cloud.
Officers were aware that Gilles had an active warrant for Controlled Substance Crime in the Second Degree. The Wright County Sheriff's Department also had probable cause to arrest Gilles for assault in the second degree on a police officer and fleeing police in a motor vehicle, both of which stemmed from an April 6, 2011 incident in Wright County.
Gilles admitted in court that two marked squad cars, with lights and sirens activated, attempted to stop his vehicle in the left hand turn lane of northbound Highway 15 at 2nd Street South. Gilles stated he made an evasive left hand turn around a vehicle, went over the center median, and sped off into traffic at speeds in excess of 70 mph. The posted speed limit is 40 mph.
Eventually he crashed into the side door of a vehicle killing the driver, 30-year-Timothy Cassanova. Cassanova's 22-year-old passenger, Megan Thomsen, was pregnant. She suffered injuries and her fetus eventually died after an emergency C-section.
Gilles entered a straight plea, meaning there is no plea agreement. The Stearns County Attorney's Office will be arguing that the defendant receive a sentence of 432 months (36 years) in prison for his crimes.
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