Colo. fugitive sister: ‘I deserved to get shot’
PUEBLO — A woman caught with her two brothers after a nationwide manhunt told Colorado authorities she “deserved to get shot,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, are being held in Pueblo County, Colo., on bonds of $1.25 million each. The three made their first court appearance Thursday in Pueblo, Colo., appearing by video from jail.
They face charges of attempted murder of a peace officer and assault on a peace officer. The charges stem from allegations that they shot at authorities in Colorado.
Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg by Walsenburg, Colo., Police Chief James Chamblerlain after she pointed a machine gun at him, according to the affidavit. The document says she later told police, “I deserved to get shot.”
Their mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., spoke briefly Thursday to The Associated Press but declined to discuss their ordeal, saying she didn’t think it would help them in the long run.
“Thank God they’re not tried by the media,” she said. “They’re tried in a court of law and their story will come out at that time.”
Bell hung up the phone shortly after a reporter called, saying she needed to keep the line open for concerned family members to reach her.
“I’m devastated and I’m trying to be strong for other family members,” Bell said. “Throughout all of this, I think everybody just wanted it to stop. And now it’s over.”
The siblings also have no-bond warrants in Georgia and Florida on charges they robbed a bank in Georgia and shot at a police officer in Florida.
“At first it was like, ‘Wow, you know, they’re shooting at me. And then it turned to I just want to catch them before they hurt anybody,” said Zephyrhills, Fla., police officer Kevin Widner said of the confrontation.
“These three have a big legal mess in front of them and at some point they’ll face charges in all those jurisdictions,” FBI Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus said.
After images of the trio were broadcast on television, someone tipped Colorado state troopers and the Pueblo County sheriff around 9 a.m. Wednesday that the suspects might be at a campground south of Colorado Springs, Colo.
A Pueblo County sheriff’s detective spotted the car near an interstate highway that day, followed it discreetly until state troopers joined him, and the chase was on.
AK-47 rounds were fired at the four patrol cars during the pursuit south on the interstate, where speeds exceeded 100 mph, said Lt. Col. Anthony Padilla of the Colorado State Patrol.
In Walsenburg, Colo., troopers deployed spiked stop strips across the interstate. A tire was punctured on the Subaru the siblings were driving, sending it rolling and crashing into a guardrail.
Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg after she pointed a gun at a police officer near the car, authorities said, adding that she was trying to escape on foot. Another one of the suspects was apprehended after a brief foot chase.
Three highway workers reportedly helped track and capture that sibling. Dave Dallaguardia told ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday that he followed Ryan Dougherty in his truck even after the fugitive had motioned at him as if he had a gun.
Dallaguardia said he had no idea he was chasing one of the Dougherty siblings and his wife later scolded him for pursuing him. He said he and his co-workers came from small, blue-collar towns.
“If you need to lend a hand, you lend a hand and help people out,” Dallaguardia said.
Lee Dougherty was treated at a Walsenburg hospital for a gunshot wound and her brothers received treatment for injuries suffered in the crash. They were later transferred to Pueblo County Jail.
The trio reportedly had bought camping gear and were hiding out in the remote San Isabel National Forest in southern Colorado.
Jenny Neal, 38, a clerk working at the time the siblings went to the Sinclair gas station in Colorado City, Col., said she had not been paying attention to the news so she didn’t know who they were. She said she learned that it was Dylan Dougherty Stanley who went into the store, by himself, and bought vitamin water, sunflower seeds and gas.
“He was perfectly polite and friendly and, you know, completely calm and courteous and I really didn’t think anything about it,” she said.
Moments later, Neal said she saw patrol cars speeding down the highway and thought something was up, but it wasn’t until a detective went into the store and asked to review video footage that she found out who her customer was.
Neal said she has wondered what would have happened had she known who they were and her demeanor had not been so calm.
“It’s probably better that I didn’t know anything, you know. I mean, it could’ve been different had I recognized them and been nervous or anything. It’s a scary thought,” she said.