Lewiston Man Accused Of Leading Whitman County Sheriff’s Deputy On Car Chase Enters Into Plea Agreement

The 21-year-old Lewiston man accused of leading a Whitman County Sheriff’s Deputy on a high-speed car chase has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Joseph Rodriguez pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless driving on Friday.  Judge Gary Libey agreed with the sentencing recommendation from the prosecutor’s office and placed Rodriguez on supervised probation for 2 years.

The case began during the early morning hours of August 23rd at the Port of Wilma on the Snake River.  Deputies were called to a report of a suicidal subject at the port.  When they arrived, they found Rodriguez in a vehicle.  He refused to cooperate and led law enforcement on a high-speed car chase that ended when Rodriguez crashed along the river.  His vehicle caught fire and deputies were able to pull Rodriguez from the car and put out the flames.  He was initially arrested on a variety of charges including felony eluding.

Prosecutor Denis Tracy noted during his sentencing recommendation that Rodriguez struggles with depression.