Police chase suspect pleads not guilty

A Craig man who police say led them on a high-speed chase last month pleaded not guilty in 14th Judicial District Court on Monday.

Duane Dylan Starkey, 22, is charged with felony vehicular eluding, reckless driving, passing oncoming veh--icles, driving without a license and driving with expired registration.

Colorado State Patrol arrested Starkey in May after they say he led them on an eight-mile chase, with speeds hitting 120 mph.

Starkey, who is out of jail on bail, appeared in court Monday for arraignment.

Starkey's lawyer, Larry Combs, asked Chief Judge Michael O'Hara to schedule a two-day jury trial for Starkey.

O'Hara scheduled a jury trial for December.

Shortly after the arrest, Trooper Jeff Vrbas, who arrested Starkey, said he saw Starkey speeding and passing another vehicle.

Vrbas said he had to pull over onto the shoulder to allow Starkey to go by.

Numerous eastbound vehicles had to pull onto the shoulder to allow Starkey to pass as well, Vrbas said.

Witnesses said Starkey, who was driving a 2003 Lincoln Lancer, hit speeds of about 120 mph and passed numerous vehicles in no-passing zones, Vrbas said.

The chase, which started in Routt County, ended on First Street in Craig when deputies from the Moffat County Sheriff's Office pulled Starkey over, Vrbas said.

Starkey denied that he was the person speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he was arrested, Vrbas said.

If convicted of vehicular eluding, a felony, Starkey could spend between two and six years in prison.

Combs also filed a motion asking the judge to change the venue of the proceedings from Craig to Steamboat Springs.

Combs said the speeding charges could be tried in Craig. But officers say Starkey eluded them in Routt County, so those charges should be handled in Steamboat, Combs said.

But Judge O'Hara rejected Combs' motion. O'Hara said that officers say Starkey eluded them in both counties, not just Routt, O'Hara said.

If a crime occurs in two or more counties, the law says it can be tried in any of those counties, O'Hara said.

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