Cox pleads not guilty to vehicle theft, eluding Kent Police
By STEVE HUNTER
Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter
May 28, 2010 · 4:23 PM
A 34-year-old man pleaded not guilty May 27 in King County Superior Court in Kent to charges of vehicle theft and attempting to elude police in connection with a 15-mile chase May 12 with Kent Police.
Casey Lee Cox, a transient with a last known address of Seattle, appeared in court with defense attorney John Randolph to enter a plea at his arraignment before Judge Mary Roberts. Cox remains in custody at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on $100,000 bail.
If found guilty of the charges, Cox faces a sentence from three years and seven months to four years and nine months, said Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
Kent Police arrested Cox May 13 for investigation of vehicle theft and attempting to elude police.
Cox later told detectives that he is "an adrenaline junky" and that stealing vehicles is a much better high than using methamphetamine, according to charging papers.
Kent Police were alerted shortly after midnight May 13 that Cox, known to officers for a history of stealing vehicles, was driving a stolen pickup on the West Hill.
Minutes later, police spotted the man driving a late-model Ford F-250 pickup along Military Road South.
Officers followed the vehicle north on Interstate 5 then north on I-405 as well as along South 180th Street where Cox reached speeds of more than 100 mph in a posted 35 mph speed zone.
Cox told officers he wanted to reach speeds of more than 120 mph because he figured police would then stop chasing him, according to court documents.
During the pursuit, officers were unsuccessful as they tried using spike strips as well as attempts to use a patrol car to bump the truck into a spin.
Each time patrol cars approached the pickup, Cox swerved the truck toward the pursuing officers. King County's Guardian One helicopter joined in the chase.
Eventually, Cox lost control of the pickup and struck a concrete barrier in the 5400 block of South 178th Street in Tukwila. There were no injuries to Cox or officers.
Cox told police he had stolen the truck from along Rainier Avenue South, just north of the Renton Airport, according to charging papers. He told detectives he broke into the passenger side door of the locked pickup, removed a brake-lock from the vehicle to get it in motion and punched the ignition to get the pickup started.
Cox has five prior felony car theft convictions and two misdemeanor car theft convictions.
Cox is scheduled to return to court June 9 when a trial date could be set or attorneys from either side could ask for more time to prepare the case.Contact Kent Reporter Courts, government reporter Steve Hunter at email@example.com or 253-872-6600, ext. 5052.