By Emry Dinman / Columbia Basin Herald
MOSES LAKE — An Edmonds man who wrecked a stolen car on private property and then stole the car of the property owner when they came out to see if he was OK has been sentenced to over four years in prison.
Jaret Michael Hester, 25, pled guilty to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.
After Hester reportedly wrecked a stolen vehicle on private property in the 1000 block of Road U Northeast in mid-September, the owner of that property came out to check if he was OK. The owner told police that Hester had said he fell asleep at the wheel, but seemed to be under the influence of drugs.
As the property owner was attempting to help Hester move what was later found to have been a stolen vehicle, Hester got into the man’s vehicle and drove off. The man then called police, who found Hester in the stolen vehicle as it exited off I-90 near Moses Lake.
When the pursuing officer activated his emergency lights, Hester accelerated, before suddenly turning into Ernie’s Truck Stop and maneuvering dangerously between gas pumps and the building. Hester attempted to take the vehicle off the road but lost control of the vehicle, hitting the embankment of an irrigation canal behind the truck stop.
The vehicle briefly became airborne before landing in the water at the bottom of the canal. Deputies approached with guns drawn, but Hester refused to comply, exiting the vehicle and taking off on foot across a field.
Hester led deputies on foot across the field and eventually to state Route 17, where he attempted to stop another vehicle but was unsuccessful. Hester was chased into an office for West Coast Auto Dealership before running out of the building and onto a city street, where he reportedly attempted to stop another vehicle in order to steal it.
A pursuing deputy wrote in court documents that he aimed his firearm at Hester’s chest in that moment, fearing for the safety of the occupants of the vehicle and uncertain if he had a gun. After the vehicle Hester attempted to stop began to drive off, Hester turned, and, seeing he wasn’t holding a gun, the deputy holstered his weapon and tackled Hester.
Due to his extensive prior criminal history, including multiple counts of theft, burglary and trafficking in stolen property out of Snohomish County since 2010, Hester was sentenced to 51 months in prison.