Judge: Bank Robbery, Shooting Charges Admissible In Fugitive's Trial

Lee Grace Dougherty Accused In Three-State Crime Spree

A Colorado judge has ruled that charges from other states can be used in a case against a woman accused in a three-state crime spree.

Lee Grace Dougherty has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault and other charges related to a high-speed chase and what authorities say was a shootout before their capture Aug. 10. Her two-week trial is set for Feb. 21. Her two brothers are also facing charges.

During a hearing Monday, the judge ruled that all events leading up to the woman's arrest can be introduced in trial.

The siblings are accused of robbing a bank in Georgia and shooting at police officers in Florida and Colorado.

The Crime Spree

The Dougherty siblings had been on the run since Aug. 2, when police said they fired 20 shots at a Florida police officer attempting to pull over their white Subaru Impreza for speeding.

"At first it was like, 'Wow, you know, they're shooting at me.' And then it turned to, 'I just want to catch them before they hurt anybody,'" Zephyrhills, Fla., police officer Kevin Widner said of the confrontation.

Five hours later, the trio, wearing masks, robbed a bank in Valdosta, Ga., police said. One of them fired an AK-47 rifle into the ceiling as they walked through the front door, police said. Another was armed with some type of machine gun, while the third collected the cash, police said.

Ryan Dougherty, a convicted sex offender, has 14 previous felonies on his record and was accused of sending hundreds of explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl he had met online. Dylan Dougherty has arrests for marijuana possession.

Lee Grace worked as a stripper at a club called Cheaters and had been arrested for five felonies, including battery and hit-and-run, and six misdemeanor offenses.

On her profile on the photo sharing website Flickr.com, Lee Grace wrote: "I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it. I like milk and German engineering and causing mayhem with my siblings."

Dubbed the Dougherty Gang, the two brothers and sister were the subject of a national manhunt, listed on the FBI's Most Wanted List and defined as heavily armed and extremely dangerous.

Manhunt Ends in Colorado

The widely publicized cross-country manhunt for the Doughertys ended Aug. 10 near Walsenburg, about 150 miles south of Denver, following a chase on Interstate 25.

The Doughertys were first spotted in Colorado the day before. Investigators believe the trio may have purchased a tent at an REI sporting goods store at 1376 E. Woodmen Road in Colorado Springs in the afternoon, and one of them may have gone into a Walmart in Canon City that night to buy ammunition for an AK-47.

On Aug. 10, witnesses spotted the suspects near Colorado City and called 911, said Colorado State Patrol Trooper Heather Cobler. Sightings of the suspects' vehicle were reported at a campground on Highway 165. Troopers said that when law enforcement reached the campground, the suspects had already left.

A short time later, a Pueblo County sheriff's Deputy Robbie Newsome saw the vehicle at a gas station near exit 74 on I-25 near Colorado City. He discreetly followed them until state troopers could join in the chase.

Officials said the suspects fled around 9:30 a.m. when they noticed that CSP troopers trying to stop them.

In Walsenburg, an off-duty trooper working at a construction site heard about the chase coming his way, and he deployed spiked stop strips across the interstate.

A tire was punctured on the Doughertys' Subaru, sending it rolling and crashing into a guardrail.

Lee Grace scrambled out of the car and was going over a guard rail with a machine pistol in her hand when Chamberlain ordered her to drop her weapon, the affidavit said.

She was seen trying to "work the action on the pistol" and pointed her weapon directly at him, the affidavit said.

That's when Walsenburg Police Chief James Chamberlain fired his .40 caliber weapon and struck her in the right upper thigh, causing her to fall to the ground.

"I let go of the gun" and the "pain was all through my body," she told the FBI.

Lee Grace and Dylan were taken into custody.

Ryan ran off and was eventually detained by construction workers at a nearby site, authorities said.

Lee Grace told police she "deserved to get shot" because she had pointed a gun at a police officer, according to court documents.

Why Colorado?

Ryan Dougherty told authorities they were headed to Mexico to elude authorities after he was convicted in Florida of sending the sexually explicit text messages to the 11-year-old girl.

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