A Colorado fugitive who lead law enforcement on a 100-plus mph chase for 92 miles on Interstate 25 last week pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors in Natrona County Circuit Court on Thursday.
In exchange for Marquise Harris' guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to drop a felony drug count. Circuit Court Judge Steve Brown sentenced Harris to six months in jail.
However, Harris' legal woes only will be beginning because he will be returned to Colorado for other criminal charges, Assistant District Attorney Dan Itzen said.
"What will happen is he will serve his six months in jail and then be extradited back to the state of Colorado where he'll face charges down there," Itzen said. "The biggest charge was a robbery charge. There was also a trespass charge, and I believe a forgery charge as well."
Harris was arrested last week after leading the Wyoming Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase beginning at 10:25 p.m. on Interstate 25 from north of Casper.
Even after Stop Sticks shredded three of his wheels, he kept driving. He finally called 911 to negotiate his surrender near the Sheridan County line at 11:04 p.m. The entire chase covered 92 miles in 71 minutes.
After Harris was taken into custody, law enforcement officers learned he had multiple felony warrants out of Colorado. Besides those warrants, he was charged with felony possession of oxycodone pills, and four misdemeanor counts of speeding, driving under suspension, eluding law enforcement, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
At his initial appearance last week, Harris loudly tried to argue with Circuit Court Judge Michael Patchen about Fourth Amendment search procedures, which Patchen dismissed since that's not the circuit court's job to determine constitutionality.
The tone was more conciliatory during the preliminary hearing Thursday.
Harris said he wasn't trying to evade officers, but as a black man wary of law enforcement because of the incidents in Ferguson, Mo., he was concerned about being pulled over by white law enforcement.
Brown said he could understand where Harris was coming from, but Wyoming law requires motorists to pull over when law enforcement officers activate their flashers. Those being pulled over should turn on their car's interior lights and place their hands on the steering wheel, he added.
Unlike many of the people who appear in his court, Brown said Harris is a well-spoken person and has manners.
"You have ability and intelligence, that you don't need to be living this lifestyle," he said. "Drugs aren't going to make you better, faster, smarter."