Edwards pleads guilty to eluding, possession

CLINTON —A Bernard man pleaded guilty Thursday to eluding law enforcement and possession of marijuana.

Billy J. Edwards, 28, pleaded guilty to eluding, a Class D felony, and one count of possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, in Clinton County District Court.

According to a police affidavit, a Clinton County deputy on patrol near Delmar around 9 p.m. Dec. 7 noticed a dark-colored truck with no rear license plate. A man, later identified as Edwards, was putting air in the right rear tire, saw the deputy, got into the truck and drove eastbound on Highway 136.

The deputy attempted to follow the vehicle and conduct a traffic stop, the affidavit says. The vehicle turned north on 252nd Avenue and continued at a high rate of speed. The deputy clocked the vehicle at 84 miles per hour as it passed 115th street, the affidavit says.

The deputy turned on his lights and sirens in an attempt to stop Edwards, who continued northbound on 252nd Avenue, throwing items from the truck window from 115th Street to the Jackson County line. The items appeared to be medium-sized plastic bags and a paper plate, but no items were recovered during the investigation, the affidavit says.

Edwards continued north on 252nd Avenue, crossing into Jackson County where he came to an abrupt stop about 500 feet across the county line, the affidavit says. Edwards exited his vehicle and began walking toward the deputy's squad car at a fast pace. The deputy pulled his service pistol and identified himself, told Edwards to stop walking and to put his hands in the air and lie on the ground.

Edwards told the deputy several times that he was Billy Edwards and thought the deputy was going to stop chasing him at the county line. Edwards eventually lay on the ground with his hands out, the affidavit says. The deputy placed Edwards in custody about 9:05 p.m.

Edwards had several knives and a marijuana pipe on his person, the affidavit says. The deputy found a hitter box with marijuana in it in the vehicle and found a steak knife on the passenger seat. Edwards said the marijuana, less than one gram, belonged to him, the affidavit says.

In a plea agreement, the State will recommend probation after successful completion of a Residential Corrections Facility program in Davenport. Edwards will request supervised probation without an RCF program requirement.

The parties agree that Edwards may withdraw his plea for both charges if the Court chooses to impose incarceration for the felony charge. The parties have agreed to concurrent sentences and an option for the Court to impose jail time for the misdemeanor charge.

Under the plea agreement, the State will dismiss one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of speeding, one count of driving under suspension, one count of failure to display registration plate and one count of no insurance. Costs assessed to the State.

Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 6.