The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man believed to be the driver in a high-speed chase earlier this month.
Jeffrey L. Mueller, 36, Sullivan, was charged Sunday, April 12, in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with one felony count of resisting arrest and five misdemeanor charges.
The misdemeanor charges are for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, fourth-degree assault, littering causing physical injury or property damage, careless driving and an illegal lane change.
Deputies had been searching for Mueller since he eluded arrest following an April 5 high-speed chase. The sheriff’s office was told Saturday, April 11, about a possible sighting of him on the Crawford County side of Sullivan.
Sullivan officers located and detained Mueller. Franklin County deputies took custody of Mueller when they arrived and transported him to the Franklin County Adult Detention Facility.
Bond was set at $50,000.
Mueller is the second person connected with the high-speed chase facing charges. Shauna A. MacDonald, 25, Colorado Springs, Colo., was charged Monday, April 6, with one felony count of resisting arrest by fleeing in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court.
Deputies were called to Pacific Self Storage in the 3000 block of West Osage Street just after 4:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5, for a reported trespassing. The security company reported seeing a man climbing the fence on the property via remote surveillance footage.
The security company also reported the man was possibly breaking into an RV stored on the lot. Deputies arrived and found an unoccupied van at the entrance to the storage company.
The deputy entered through the security gate and found a man inside the property. The deputy said the man fled on foot, got in the van and left the scene.
Just before 5 a.m., the deputy located the van parked at the Burger King at Highway 100 and Highway AT in Villa Ridge. Before the deputy could make a traffic stop, the van drove away from the scene and got on westbound Interstate 44.
Multiple deputies pursued the van as it headed west to the St. Clair exit, north on Highway 47 and west on Highway 50 toward Beaufort. Speeds during the pursuit exceeded 100 mph at times, the sheriff’s office said.
During the pursuit, the male driver, identified as Mueller, and a female passenger, identified as MacDonald, began throwing several items, including electronics, tools, clothing and bottles out of the van. The sheriff’s office said it believes this was an attempt to strike or disable the deputies’ vehicles.
Deputies deployed spike strips between Beaufort and Leslie and successfully deflated the tires on the van. The van left the north side of Highway 50 and came to a stop without collision at Flint Hill Road.
Mueller fled the scene on foot before deputies were able to stop him at the scene. Deputies searched the area with assistance from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, but were unable to locate him.
The female passenger, MacDonald, was located on Highway 50 east of the traffic stop location. She had suffered injuries from jumping from the van while it was in motion during the pursuit. She was transported by ambulance to an area hospital for medical care.
Deputies learned the van, a white 2019 Chevy Express 2500, was reported stolen from a U-Haul company out of the state of Colorado.
Bond for MacDonald was set at $75,000, cash only. She also is currently wanted in Colorado for violating terms of her probation.
The sheriff’s office said Mueller was currently wanted in Colorado Springs for failing to appear in court on a charge of vehicle theft.