Video from a Dec. 17, 2006, police pursuit showed familiar buildings on C. C. Woodson including the Brownwood Coliseum and the EZ Mart, where a sign indicated unleaded regular was $2.15 a gallon.
The video showed the speed of police Lt. John Harper’s car as it accelerated in pursuit of a fleeing motorist: 60, 70, 80 mph.
The motorist, Larry Dale Smith, was caught and charged with evading arrest and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He is standing trial this week in 35th District Court.
Smith, 42, pleaded guilty to the evading arrest charge Tuesday morning before attorneys made opening statements to a jury.
Smith is contesting other elements of the case: he denies the state’s contention that he used a deadly weapon — the 1995 Mercury Marquis he drove as he fled from police — and he pleaded not guilty to the drug charge.
The prosecution contends that Smith, high on methamphetamine and wanted in another drug case, fled when Harper tried to make a traffic stop. Smith’s son and another man were passengers in the car, and Smith ran several red lights and stop signs, the prosecution contends.
The car barely missed colliding with two other vehicles when Smith ran a stop sign at Williams Ranch Road and the access road, the prosecution contends.
As Harper followed the car, with his patrol car’s emergency lights and siren activated, someone threw a small container that contained methamphetamine out the window, the prosecution contends.
The methamphetamine belonged to one of the passengers, but Smith knew about the drugs and is guilty because of the “law of parties,” the prosecution contends.
Defense attorney Evan Stubbs contends that Smith did not use the car as a deadly weapon, and in fact took care to avoid colliding with other motorists. Stubbs also contends that Smith is not guilty of the drug charge because the drugs did not belong to him.
Harper testified that he was on patrol around 1:30 p.m. on a Sunday when he saw Smith commit traffic violations on West Austin.
Harper tried to stop the car, and a pursuit began that wound through downtown and involved other Brownwood police, Early police and sheriff’s deputies, Harper testified. After Smith crossed the access road, he continued on the Williams Ranch Road, drove onto a pasture access road and slowed.
Smith got out and ran into a field, and was caught by other officers, Harper testified.
Deputy David Varner brought the sheriff’s office’s drug dog to the scene, and the dog alerted to the driver’s seat and glove box. Officers found scales with residue, Harper testified.