TWIN FALLS — Robbery charges stemming from a June Cadillac theft were dropped Monday against a woman who will instead be prosecuted on a charge of eluding a law enforcement officer.
Tia Jean Garcia, 22, appeared before Magistrate Judge Thomas Kershaw Jr. with her attorney, Loren Bingham, for preliminary hearings on two cases Monday afternoon. In one case, she was charged — along with four others — with felony robbery for the theft of a Cadillac Escalade on June 15.
Twin Falls County Deputy Prosecutor Trevor Misseldine told Kershaw that charge would be dismissed.
The felony charge of eluding law enforcement officer resulted from a car chase on June 27, when Garcia failed to stop for Kimberly-Hansen police officer Jesse Vogler, court documents say. That chase continued eastbound on U.S. Highway 30 for about four miles and reached speeds up to 112 mph, according to Vogler’s testimony during Monday’s hearing.
Vogler had been patrolling on U.S. 30 when he noticed the red or maroon Cadillac Garcia was driving had no front license plate. He reversed direction and pursue the car, which eventually lost control and crashed through a fence, rolling onto its roof.
Garcia and her passenger, identified as Johny Hernandez, 27, according to court documents, fled on foot. They eventually stopped and surrendered to Vogler, he testified.
Garcia was identified by an Idaho Department of Corrections ID card found in the car, Vogler said. He also identified her in the courtroom at the defendant’s table.
Kershaw ordered Garcia to be bound over to District Court. An arraignment date on the eluding charge has not yet been set.
She remains in custody at the Twin Falls County Jail on $100,000 bond.
The other defendants in the robbery case are awaiting hearings. Helena Herrera’s pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 25. Christopher Herrera has a pretrial hearing set for Dec. 2. The Herreras have been released from custody.
Johny Hernandez has a pretrial set on his charge of eluding a law enforcement officer on Oct. 16. His District Court arraignment on the robbery charge has not yet been scheduled. He remains in custody in the Twin Falls County Jail.
Christopher Garrett’s preliminary hearing is set for Friday. He remains in custody.
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