Motorcyclist in high-speed chase takes plea |

Motorcyclist in high-speed chase takes plea

A Smartsville man who fled from California Highway Patrol officers on his motorcycle at high speed, crashed through a fence and then tried to flee on foot took a plea agreement in court in return for 75 days in jail.

Duke J. Charlesworth, 48, was arrested on Jan. 21 after he failed to yield at a Highway 20 construction site on Highway 20, west of Melody Road, while driving a off-road Honda motorcycle.

As the motorcycle passed the location, a CHP officer observed the bike was missing license plates and other equipment required to operate on the highway and tried to make an enforcement stop. Charlesworth then fled on Melody Road onto Big Oak Drive, reaching a speed of approximately 65 mph, before he tried to turn left onto Shepard Road but lost control and hit into a fence.

He was ejected off the motorcycle, into the air and through the fence. Even though Charlesworth sustained significant injuries in the collision, he tried to flee on foot and was pursued by the CHP officer until he collapsed a short distance away from the scene and taken into custody. He subsequently was flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

In Nevada County Superior Court on Thursday, Charlesworth opted to plead no contest to evading a peace officer, resisting arrest and driving on a suspended license.

Deputy District Attorney Ray DeJesus pushed for a 90-day jail sentence, arguing that the chase showed a disregard for public safety.

Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis, however, noted her client’s minimal criminal record as she argued for just 60 days in custody.

She told Judge Linda Sloven that Charlesworth had sustained serious injuries that could require surgery, adding, “The cosmos has punished him already.”

Sloven told both attorneys they made good points and that she therefore was going to split the difference, sentencing Charlesworth to 75 days and three years probation.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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