Natrona County Sheriff's Office
Natrona County Sheriff's Office

A Cheyenne man Thursday pleaded not guilty to charges of stealing a pickup, nearly hitting two Wyoming Highway Patrol officers after a high-speed chase on Interstate 25, crashing into a patrol car, and possessing drugs.

Jimmie Ray Files, 38, entered the pleas to 11 felony counts during his arraignment before Natrona County District Court Judge Catherine Wilking.

The charges include four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of attempting cause bodily injury to a peace officer, grand theft, two counts of property destruction, possession of methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

If convicted on all counts, Files could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

A trial date will be scheduled later. Files remains in custody on a $250,000 bond.

The case began Aug. 21 when a man reported his pickup was stolen from the Casper Country Club, according to court documents.

Later that day, two Highway Patrol troopers saw the pickup driving north on I-25 between Casper and Glenrock and attempted to stop it. The truck accelerated to more than 100 mph. A trooper deployed Stop Sticks which deflated two tires. The truck didn't stop and crossed the median into oncoming traffic.

Another trooper executed a pit maneuver, hitting the pickup to try to stop it. The pickup re-entered the median. It appeared to be stuck, then backed up and stopped.

The troopers drew their guns. Files raised his hands as if about to surrender. He then accelerated toward the troopers who got out of the way.

They fired five shots, hitting Files and the pickup. Files continued accelerating, crashed into a patrol vehicle and broke its rear axle.

He drove the pickup into the prairie, got stuck, and Natrona County Sheriff's deputies captured him near Blackmore and Lathrop roads east of Casper. A bag found nearby contained nearly 1.4 ounces of methamphetamine, packaging material and a scale.

The pickup was a mess with leaking oil, front end damage, paint damage, damage from the pitting maneuver and bullet holes.

Files was a mess, too. He was hospitalized for his injuries. He was in a wheelchair Thursday during the court hearing.

The troopers, however, were uninjured. They were placed on paid administrative leave while the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation reviewed the case.

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