Trial date set for man in high-speed chase

Alejandro A. Ureno faces eluding charges as well as drug charges unrelated to the chase this month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A Feb. 23 trial has been scheduled for a man accused of leading police on a vehicle pursuit from the west end of Walla Walla into Milton-Freewater this month.

Alejandro A. Ureno, 30, is charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle. He also faces two unrelated drug charges in the case, accusing him of delivering hydromorphone and possessing hydrocodone with intent to deliver it.

He pleaded innocent to the charges at a court session Monday afternoon.

Officials said the Dec. 8 pursuit began about 3:50 p.m. after a Walla Walla police officer spotted a vehicle heading south on Myra Road matching the description of a Jeep that had been reported stolen.

Ureno allegedly failed to stop for the officer and turned onto state Route 125 toward College Place and Milton-Freewater. Near the state line, the Jeep -- which was traveling about 60 mph -- was passing vehicles on the left and right, nearly hit the rear end of another vehicle and swerved into oncoming traffic and the patrol car, officials said.

Two other patrol units joined the pursuit after the Jeep's driver turned west on Ballou Road, south onto the Old Milton Highway and headed into Milton-Freewater.

After slowing down near Fifth Avenue and Hill Street for a female passenger to jump out, Ureno drove the Jeep from the area, officials said. The vehicle, which had been reported stolen from the 3000 block of Canberra Drive in Walla Walla County, was located later.

Ureno - whose last known address was in Weston - was apprehended in Walla Walla on Dec. 15 at Palouse and Main streets.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.
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