CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – A man accused of leading police on a 75-mile chase during rush hour last week now faces more than two dozen charges.
The chase began when suspect Ryan Stone, 28, allegedly stole an SUV in Longmont with a 4-year-old boy in the back seat. Eventually Stone stopped and forced a driver out of a minivan and then sped away in that vehicle.
After clipping a Colorado state trooper and hitting other cars, the suspect got out of the minivan and into a sedan, which he ended up crashing. He then he tried to get away on foot. Police arrested Stone about two hours after the first call.
Stone faces a slew of charges, including child abuse for a 13-year-old girl who ran from the passenger’s side of her mother’s van after Stone allegedly carjacked them. He faces child abuse and kidnapping charges for the 4-year-old boy who was in the SUV when it was stolen in Longmont. He also faces attempted murder charges for Trooper Bellaman Hee, who was hit as he was trying to put down stop sticks. Hee remains hospitalized recovering for lower body injuries.
In all Stone faces 26 charges. Longtime family friends say he is misunderstood.
“It’s a hard thing, you know, people lose their way sometimes,” Stone’s friend Jason Hernandez said.
“I think the public should know Ryan is a really good person,” friend Lori Hernandez said. “Our hearts go out to the victims, it was very unfortunate.”
Before the March 12 chase, Stone already had a lengthy criminal history.
Stone could face a minimum of 16 years if convicted of 21 of his 26 charges. But if prosecutors successfully argue five additional sentence enhancers, Stone could spend the rest of his life in prison.
“If we are successful in proving all of those things up, the minimum sentence would be 96 years,” District Attorney George Brauchler said. “The maximum sentence at the discretion of the judge would be well over 100 years in the Department of Corrections.”
Jason Hernandez says Stone is also a victim. But when asked “victim of what?” He only said it’s private.
“I’d prefer actually that the media didn’t cover the event, but if they have to they should know that there’s suffering on all sides,” he said.
Stone’s preliminary hearing is set for May 29. His $3.5 million bond remains in effect. Stone’s lawyer is expected to argue for a lower bond, likely at the May 29 preliminary hearing.
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