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Man enters Alford plea in assault of Pierce City officer

September 29, 2021 GMT

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri man has entered an Alford plea to three felony counts he was facing arising from a vehicle pursuit by a Pierce City police officer two years ago.

Brandon S. Sandnes, 37, of Mount Vernon, pleaded Tuesday to armed criminal action and two counts of first-degree assault. Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges the likelihood of a conviction if the case went to trial.

Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 9. Sandnes, who is being prosecuted as a persistent offender, could receive up to 30 years in prison on the assault charges, The Joplin Globe reported.

The officer began chasing the truck after it fled when he tried to approach two vehicles parked at an armory in the early morning of June 22, 2019, according to a probable cause statement.

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During the chase, the truck struck the officer’s patrol car twice and men in the truck’s bed threw several items at the patrol car, according to the statement.

The occupants were arrested when the truck crashed just after entering Newton County.

Two other man have previously pleaded guilty in the case.