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DA: Oregon Trooper Justified in Ramming Suspect

Courtroom Credit Moodboard
Photo Courtesy of Moodboard

NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — A prosecutor on the Oregon coast has determined a state trooper was justified in using his patrol car to ram a fugitive from Montana last month.

After the trooper hit 30-year-old Dale Edward Wallace, law enforcement officers had a five-hour standoff with Wallace’s companion, 30-year-old Sara Jo Johnson. It ended when she fatally shot herself.

The two were on the run, suspected of robbing a shopkeeper in Butte, Mont., of coins and guns.

On Jan. 3, they had been tracked to the Oregon coastal town Lincoln City. Officers believed Wallace was suicidal.

Lincoln County District Attorney Michelle Branman said Wallace aimed a gun at a sheriff’s deputy, and Trooper Adam Kowing was justified in smashing the car into Wallace.

Wallace pleaded not guilty in Montana to theft and robbery charges.

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