A Clearfield man who bolted from a courtroom during his arraignment, stole a car and led police on a chase that hit speeds of 100 mph has been given concurrent prison terms on charges of auto theft and robbery.
Mark D. Woodland, 20, pleaded guilty to the two second-degree felony charges in a plea negotiation with prosecutors. And, in an unusual move, he asked Judge Douglas L Cornaby to sentence him immediately, waiving the usual pre-sentence report by Adult Probation and Parole.Public defender Steve Vanderlinden said Woodland has served time in the Salt Lake County jail and knows he is going to prison so wants to start serving his time immediately.
"I just want to get it over with," Woodland told the judge, who agreed.
Woodland was being arraigned in Clearfield Circuit Court Nov. 15 on an auto theft charge when, after a court bailiff took one of his handcuffs off to allow him to sign a court document, Woodland fled through a fire exit.
He jumped a wall behind the court building, entered the rear of a nearby dry cleaning store, and demanded the owner give him her car. When she refused, he struck her in the face, took her keys and stole the vehicle.
Woodland was headed for I-15 when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper spotted him and began a chase that eventually involved 10 police vehicles and hit speeds of up to 100 mph.
It ended when Woodland entered the Freeport Center industrial park in Clearfield, drove the car off a loading dock and got it stuck on some railroad tracks. He fled on foot, and police found him hiding in a nearby building.
Woodland pleaded guilty to one charge of auto theft in stealing a 1991 Camaro from Utah Auto Auction in Woods Cross, and one charge of robbery. The auto-theft charge is one of the two counts he was being arraigned on when he escaped.
In return for his guilty plea, a second auto theft and second robbery charge were dismissed as well as charges of fleeing from custody and failing to stop at the command of a police officer.
Cornaby also fined Woodland $3,000 and ordered him to pay any restitution for damage to the stolen car. The two one-to-15-year prison terms will run concurrently.