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Thread: Dougherty gang pleads guilty to lesser charges, could be free before they're old

  1. #1
    Senior Member bonita's Avatar
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    Dougherty gang pleads guilty to lesser charges, could be free before they're old

    The Dougherty gang -- Lee Grace, Dylan and Ryan -- may have precipitated a nationwide manhunt prior to their car-flipping arrest in southern Colorado last August. But thanks to a series of plea deals, they may not spend the bulk of their lives in jail -- good news for those mesmerized by Lee Grace bikini and nude shots that became online sensations during the period when they dominated American crime news.
    As we've reported, Ryan, 22, had a reported fourteen felony busts on his record prior to Colorado arrest, while Lee Grace, 29, had racked up five, including a hit and run -- leaving Dylan, 26, to trail the pack. But he's said to have participated in a rash of criminality possibly prompted by Ryan being forced to register as a sex offender.

    Dylan Dougherty.
    ​Whatever the case, the three were wanted for an August 2 police chase in Zephyrhills, Florida in which shots were fired at a police officer, plus a bank robbery a few hours later in Valdosta, Georgia, featuring automatic-weapons spray. Then, following a sighting at a Colorado Springs REI, the Doughertys were involved in another police chase before being captured south of Pueblo.
    After their capture, the trio continued to make news. Example: Last month, Dylan allegedly tried to escape from jail -- but not before leaving a note for his captors letting them know he'd enjoyed his stay.

    Nonetheless, Dylan and his siblings got what appear to be pretty decent plea deals. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Lee Grace pleaded guilty last week to attempted first-degree assault and two felony menacing counts -- offenses that could net her up to 28 years in prison, but as few as nine.

    Ryan Dougherty.
    ​Then, yesterday, Ryan and Dylan came to an agreement, with Dylan pleading to five counts of felony menacing. He could get up to a twenty-year jolt, but the prospect of a lighter sentence remains. As for Dylan, he entered a guilty plea on just one count of first-degree assault. Although he could receive between ten and 32 years in prison, he doesn't have a slew of priors, unlike Ryan and Lee Grace -- so his punishment will probably fall on the lower end of the scale.
    The Dougertys still have other allegations facing them in George and Florida, but the sentences from there will run concurrently with their Colorado jail time. And if they do as good a job of negotiating down the charges there, they could may taste freedom while they're still spry enough to enjoy it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member puzzld's Avatar
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    One of three Florida siblings wanted in a multi-state crime spree was sentenced Monday to 32 years in prison for a shootout in Colorado.

    Dylan Stanley-Dougherty received the maximum prison sentence for his guilty plea to one charge of first-degree assault. His brother and sister were set to be sentenced later Monday.

    The siblings are accused of shooting at a police officer and staging a daring bank robbery in a cross-country crime spree that includes Georgia and Florida. The manhunt for them ended with their capture in Colorado _ the sentencing in Walsenburg effectively ends their stay in this state as Georgia authorities await their extradition.

    The 27-year-old Dylan pleaded guilty to charges related to the Aug. 10 freeway chase and shootout with police in southern Colorado, as did Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, and younger brother Ryan Dougherty, 22.

    Once the judge in Colorado hands down all of their sentences, the U.S. Marshals Service will transport them to Albany, Ga., for a court hearing on May 15, making it likely they'll be transferred from state to federal custody within days, if not hours of sentencing.

    U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Steve Wallisch declined to comment, citing security concerns.

    Dylan pleaded guilty to one charge of first-degree assault and faces up to 32 years in prison. Ryan pleaded guilty to five counts of menacing and faces up to 20 years in prison.

    Lee Grace Dougherty pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and two counts of menacing. She faces a maximum of 28 years in prison.

    As part of plea deals, Colorado prosecutors agreed to drop multiple counts of attempted second-degree murder that could have carried a maximum of 48 years in prison on each count.

    Prosecutors also agreed to allow the judge to consider sentences that would allow the siblings to serve their Colorado prison time concurrently with any sentences they may get if convicted of pending charges in Georgia and in Florida.

    In Georgia, the siblings face bank robbery and firearms charges in connection with a bank robbery in Valdosta on Aug. 2. Witnesses say that two men and a woman, dressed in black and wearing masks, entered the Certus Bank branch just over the Florida state line and fired shots into the ceiling. One carried an AK-47 type assault rifle and an automatic pistol, similar to weapons recovered after the siblings' capture in Colorado.

    The siblings later told investigators that Lee Grace Dougherty was to be the lookout and keep the bank's door open, Dylan was to take control of the room, and Ryan's role was to jump over the counter and take the money, authorities said.

    The trio made off with about $5,200 and had spent about $1,000 of it by the time police caught up with them in Colorado, authorities said.

    Sue McKinney, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, did not return a message seeking comment.

    The three are charged with firing shots at a police officer in Zephyrhills, Fla., some 210 miles south of Valdosta, during a high-speed chase earlier on Aug. 2.

    In Florida, all three siblings are charged with fleeing or eluding and attempted second-degree murder of a law enforcement officer. Convictions could mean life sentences, according to court officials. Ryan Dougherty also is charged with grand theft auto.

    Authorities in Florida said all three siblings had been living together in Lacoochee, about 45 miles northeast of Tampa, and each had a criminal record.

    Before the alleged crime spree, Ryan Dougherty had just been sentenced to register as a sex offender for sending sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl. His mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., said her son feared the conviction would prohibit him from seeing his newborn son.

    Bruce Bartlett, chief assistant state attorney for Florida's 6th Judicial District, said authorities there are seeking extradition.

    "We'll be seeking sentences that ensure they spend most of their life in prison, if not all of it, so if and when they were to get out of prison they would no longer pose a threat to everyone," Bartlett said in a phone interview.

    Ryan Dougherty told authorities in Colorado that the trio hoped to escape to Mexico. They siblings told investigators they traveled across the country in a stolen car, taking back roads to avoid detection.

    Lee Grace Dougherty was shot in the knee when she pointed a gun at a police officer after the trio rolled their car on Interstate 25 in Colorado. "I deserved to get shot," she told investigators.

    Prosecutors say that Dylan Stanley-Dougherty was the one who fired an assault rifle at pursuing officers before the siblings' capture in Colorado and was also the one who fired at a police officer in Florida and a bank robbery in Georgia. During the hearing, he told the judge that he was sorry and didn't want to hurt anyone.

    "I never intended, I never tired to, I never wanted to hurt anybody. It is true that I acted out of desperation and I am sorry for choices that I made," he said.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member rachy's Avatar
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    Dougherty Gang Sentenced: 35 Years For Siblings Charged In Bank Robbery, Shootout

    VALDOSTA, Ga. -- Three Florida siblings involved in a cross-country crime spree were sentenced by a federal judge Monday to more than 35 years in jail.

    Senior Judge Hugh Lawson sentenced Ryan Dougherty, Lee Grace Dougherty and Dylan Dougherty Stanley to identical sentences for their role in the August 2011 robbery of a South Georgia bank. Their spree began in Florida and ended in a shootout in Colorado.

    Lawson went beyond normal sentencing guidelines, saying that even though the trio was young and impulsive, the "escapade" could not be condoned.

    "Let me say this - this was a crazy dangerous thing," Lawson said from the bench. "I just think it is a miracle that no one was killed."

    Dylan Dougherty Stanley and Lee Grace Dougherty did not voice opposition to the sentence, but Ryan Dougherty called the judge's decision rash and "not in line with the crimes I've committed."

    Before the sentences were announced, the three siblings apologized to the employees at the Valdosta bank where the robbery took place. Dylan Dougherty Stanley acknowledged that it was a "scary situation" for them.

    Lawson sentenced each sibling to 35 years and 8 months, and to five years of supervised release after their prison sentences. He said that with good conduct they could get out of jail after 30 years.

    The three have already pleaded guilty to Colorado charges stemming from their capture in August 2011. Ryan Dougherty got 18 years, Lee Grace Dougherty received 24 years and Dylan Dougherty Stanley got 32 years for those charges.

    The sentences in Colorado were vacated as part of a plea agreement that called for reconsideration based on the sentences the siblings would receive in Georgia and Florida. Chief District Court Judge Claude Appel in his Oct. 22 order temporarily setting aside the sentences retained jurisdiction to re-impose the sentences if necessary. In handing down the sentences in April for the crimes committed in Colorado, Appel said they were meant to ensure the siblings were held accountable.

    The sibling's plea agreement called for allowing them to serve their sentences at the same time as other sentences for charges they might face in Georgia and Florida.

    The three still face charges in Florida, where they are accused of shooting at an officer during a high-speed chase.

    The sentencing hearing took more than two hours, and all three siblings were in the courtroom. Ryan Dougherty and Lee Grace Dougherty wore orange prison uniforms; Dylan Dougherty Stanley wore a gray-striped one. All were handcuffed and in leg chains.

    Attorneys for the siblings argued that certain factors should not have been considered in their sentence, including what they did in Colorado. The attorneys argued with the judge about whether their high-speed chase and shootout there a week after the robbery was part of their "immediate flight" after the Valdosta bank robbery.

    Lawson rejected the objections and said the three were in Colorado because they were in "continuous flight."

    The siblings became wanted fugitives Aug. 2, 2011, when they fled from a police officer trying to pull over their car for speeding northeast of Tampa, Fla. The chase reached speeds of 100 mph, and at least 20 gunshots were fired from the fleeing car at the pursuing officer. The suspects got away after a bullet burst a tire on the police car.

    A few hours after the chase and 210 miles away, the three fugitives put on masks and sunglasses before storming into the Certus Bank in Valdosta. Security cameras recorded Stanley, armed with an AK-47 style assault rifle, and his sister, with a machine pistol, firing one shot apiece into the ceiling.

    Their brother, meanwhile, stuffed $5,168 from teller drawers into a tool bag, and the three escaped. No one was injured.

    The hunt ended eight days after it began when two retired law officers in Colorado spotted the suspects in the San Isabel National Forest. The fugitives again tried to escape, leading police on a 20-mile chase on Interstate 25 that ended in Walsenburg, about 150 miles south of Denver.

    Shots were fired at the officers before troopers used spike strips to puncture the tires of the suspects' Subaru. Lee Dougherty bolted from the crash on foot. An officer shot her in the leg after she pointed a pistol at him, authorities said.

    In court Monday, the lawyer for Lee Grace Dougherty said she pointed her weapon at the officer in Colorado only because she was afraid someone would shoot her brother and because she was suicidal and wanted police to shoot her.

    John Gee Edwards, a Valdosta attorney, told the judge that the three siblings endured an abusive childhood and that Lee Grace Dougherty had been hospitalized for depression and anxiety.
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