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Decatur man denies fleeing from police at speeds of more than 110 mph

Decatur man denies fleeing from police at speeds of more than 110 mph



DECATUR — Thomas D. Winters is accused by prosecutors of fleeing from Decatur police and hitting speeds of more than 110 mph before officers broke off the pursuit.

Winters, 25, appeared in custody Wednesday in Macon County Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty to two charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding and a charge of driving while license revoked. Winters has six previous convictions for driving on a revoked license, court documents show.

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Giving evidence at Winters’s preliminary hearing, Police Officer Philip Ganley said the chase started in the dark early morning hours of Aug. 7. Questioned by Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott, Ganley said he had pulled up next to Winters’s Nissan sport utility vehicle in the 1200 block of East Sedgewick Street to conduct a traffic stop when Winters looked right at him, and took off.

Ganley said Winters turned off his lights and headed east on U.S. 36. “While pursuing Thomas, officers were traveling at speeds in excess of 110 mph and the Nissan continued to gain distance from officers,” Ganley wrote in a sworn affidavit about the incident. He said the fleeing vehicle blew through multiple traffic signals.

Winters was not apprehended at the time but officers got the licence plate of the vehicle, which was a rental, and found and arrested him Aug. 13.

Cross examined by defense attorney Dave Ellison, Ganley was asked how he was able to be sure it was Winters driving the speeding car.

“I have a well-documented history of coming into contact with Mr. Winters and his associates,” Ganley replied.

Judge Phoebe Bowers found probable cause to try Winters on the charges and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Oct. 29. Winters remains held in the Macon County Jail with bail set at $250,000, meaning he must post $25,000 to bond out.

2020 mug shots from the Herald & Review

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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