Daniel Pelham, 35, of Arcadia.

SENTENCING UPDATE: Habitual offender gets 20 years after leading cops on high-speed chase

After officers attempted to stop Daniel Pelham for running a stop sign, he led them on a high-speed chase for nearly an hour.

Daniel Pelham, 35, of Arcadia.

Daniel Pelham, 35, of Arcadia.

Pelham, who is a prison releasee reoffender and a habitual felony offender, was convicted in December of fleeing to elude involving high speed and no valid driver’s license. On Jan. 11, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Assistant State Attorney Michael Nutter tried the case and told jurors that on Oct. 17, 2017, a Hardee County Deputy was driving through Wauchula and saw Pelham turn his head to the side as he passed. This raised the deputy’s suspicions, so the deputy followed Pelham and observed him run a stop sign.

When the deputy attempted to pull Pelham over, he sped away, leaving the city of Wauchula and heading toward Polk County.

Pelham drove on the wrong side of the road and through residents’ yards orange groves in Hardee County. He drove upwards of 100 MPH and ran multiple stop signs and red lights, all in an attempt to avoid deputies.

Pelham drove his vehicle in a reckless manner that put law enforcement and members of the community at risk.

The hour-long chase ended in a GEICO parking lot in South Lakeland when Polk and Hardee deputies were able to stop Pelham’s vehicle and surround him.

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