Kee pleads to 8 yrs in OPD chase

Kee pleads to 8 yrs in OPD chase

An Olney man pleaded guilty to a felony charge stemming from a two-day crime spree through the City in January in exchange for an eightyear state prison sentence, prosecutors said. David James Kee, 37, was charged with four felonies after leading police on a five-hour manhunt in a caper that began with the late-night theft of a boat, evolved into a chase through fields north of town with the suspect on a stolen ATV, and was solved partly by doorbell cam footage, police said.

Police said Mr. Kee “vanished into thin air” after outrunning seven police officers and a police dog on the ATV he stole from a home near the Western Heights apartments. He was arrested a few hours later when he showed up at a home on North Avenue C asking for the ATV that he had stashed in the backyard. Minutes before Mr. Kee showed up, police had spotted the vehicle and impounded it.

Although Mr. Kee denied involvement in the chase, he was captured on the resident’s doorbell camera asking about the vehicle.

He faced two indictments for evading arrest, a third-degree felony that carries a sentence of two to 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility, Assistant District Attorney Phillip Gregory said. He pleaded guilty to one case and the second, which would not have added years to his prison term, was dropped under the plea agreement, Mr. Gregory said.

Mr. Kee also will pay $14,228 in restitution from his prison commissary funds for property damage that occurred during his pursuits with police, Mr. Gregory said. Mr. Kee will serve at least 25 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. “How long he serves depends on his behavior and disciplinary record within TDC … as well as other criminal history on his record,” he said. “He has an extensive felony and misdemeanor record in Young County … if he is not going to behave we don’t want him in society.”

District Attorney Dee Peavy thanked the Olney Police De- re-elected some of the incumbents. Passing Prop. A is a big vote of confidence of saying, ‘Guys, we see what you’re doing, we believe in it and continue to do it.’

That’s our goal today: We want Olney to be the best that it can be.”

partment for conducting the investigation that led to Kee’s indictments and prosecution.

The incident began at about 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 23 when a resident reported that someone in a white box van was attempting to steal a neighbor’s boat and trailer, police said. When police arrived, Mr. Kee took off with the boat dragging behind his van by a tow chain, police said. He abandoned the boat and van on Gray Street and Avenue N, disappearing into an adjacent field and leaving behind a dog in the van.

Officers recognized Mr. Kee’s vehicle and went to the Western Heights apartments to search for him at the homes of family and an acquaintance. As the officers returned to their vehicles, Mr. Kee took off on the stolen ATV into the fields behind the Western Heights apartments. He managed to elude officers, aided by darkness and heavy rain, until the next morning when he appeared at the Avenue C home looking for the ATV.

Mr. Kee had been something of a one-man crime