Driver in high-speed chase charged again


A man scheduled to be sentenced in a high-speed chase last month was indicted again July 1 for failing to appear at the hearing.

A Champaign County grand jury indicted Chad M. Rittenhouse, 28, at large, last known address of 8239 E. U.S. Route 36, Woodstock, for a fourth degree felony charge of failure to appear as required by recognizance, marking the third time he was indicted this year.

Rittenhouse was in a Jan. 20 high-speed chase in Mechanicsburg after he was stopped by a police officer due to an active warrant from Madison County for aggravated trespassing.

During the pursuit, Rittenhouse reportedly drove at speeds of 50 mph in a 20 mph zone close to when school was letting out in the village. He also reportedly passed multiple vehicles at a time, traveled at 90 mph, ran a stop sign and went head-on with on-coming traffic.

Rittenhouse pleaded guilty to one count of failure to comply with an order or signal of a police officer, a third degree felony, in April. A sentencing hearing was scheduled for June 11.

On May 14, Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi filed a motion to revoke Rittenhouse’s bond for a number of alleged incidents occurring after he pleaded guilty.

The motion states Rittenhouse failed to appear for an April 28 pre-sentence investigation appointment and was cited for driving under suspension after he was observed driving a vehicle in Mechanicsburg on May 10.

On the following day, Rittenhouse was observed trespassing at a Champaign County deputy’s residence. Rittenhouse reportedly approached a patrol vehicle parked in the deputy’s driveway and posed for a picture next to the sheriff’s emblem on the vehicle and extended his middle finger.

Later in the day, Rittenhouse was observed driving while under suspension and was taken into custody for the trespassing violation.

A hearing on the state’s motion to revoke bond was held on May 21. Rittenhouse failed to appear. He was indicted last month for failure to appear at the bond hearing.

The capias for him remained in effect after he failed to appear at the sentencing hearing.

Others indicted:

•Daniel D. Bailey, 35, of 314 Miami St., Apt. 4, Urbana, one count each of possession of heroin, trafficking in drugs, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia and possessing drug abuse instruments.

•Brandy A. Howard, 31, of 433 Troy St., Dayton, one count each of aggravated possession of drugs, possession of heroin, illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and illegal use or possession of marijuana drug paraphernalia.

•Lindsey L. Howard, 22, of 1064 Finny Ave., Blacklick, two counts of forgery and one count each of safe cracking, theft and receiving stolen property.

•Jordan M. McCluskey, 25, of 619 E. Rose St., Springfield, three counts each of trafficking in marijuana with a specification for forfeiture of a cell phone in a drug case and possessing criminal tools with a specification for forfeiture of a cell phone in a drug case.

•John H. Knox Jr., 60, of 39 Mill St., Mechanicsburg, three counts of aggravated possession of drugs and one count each of possession of heroin and possessing drug abuse instruments.

•Wanda L. Thomas, 48, of 2714 state Route 559, Mechanicsburg, one count each of possession of cocaine, aggravated possession of drugs and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

•Derek J. Blubaugh, 21, of 11480 U.S. 36, Lot 128, Marysville, two counts each of possession of LSD, possessing criminal tools, trafficking in LSD with a specification for forfeiture of property, possessing criminal tools with a specification for forfeiture of property and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia.

•Jeremy S. Hollar, 37, of 39 Mill St., Mechanicsburg, one count of aggravated possession of drugs.