A La Plata County man was sentenced Friday to three years in community corrections after leading police on a multi-hour pursuit north of Bayfield.
Michael Fisher Wilson was charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft, criminal attempt to commit robbery, vehicular eluding, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and second-degree burglary.
Events unfolded the morning of Oct. 30 at the Grocery Store at Bayfield, 381 E. Colorado Drive, where Wilson attempted to rob the store’s owner, Paul Peeples.
When the robbery was unsuccessful, Wilson led police on a 20-mile chase north of Bayfield in a car stolen from his mother, reaching speeds of 80 mph, and a multi-hour foot pursuit.
He abandoned the car a couple of miles north of Vallecito Reservoir and broke into a Vallecito resident’s home, where a woman inside persuaded him to leave before calling police.
On Friday, Dianne Paxton recounted her morning commute when Wilson’s reckless driving forced her off the road.
“He made that vehicle into a 3,000-pound deadly weapon,” she said. “Within split seconds, I had to swerve my car to avoid being hit. He exhibited an extreme disregard for human life that day.”
Annie Woods, Wilson’s public defender, said the incident “does not define Michael.”
She attributed his actions to a difficult childhood, including an abusive, drug-addicted mother, and mental illness.