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Utah fugitive crashes car while fleeing

A woman wanted on more than 40 warrants in Utah and Wyoming — including allegations she passed bogus checks in Powell — was apprehended by law enforcement in Riverton on Monday.

However, that was only after Jamie L. Cleghorn, 34, wrecked her vehicle to conclude a chase in which she led police across Hot Springs and Fremont counties.

Cleghorn, from Alabama, was being treated at a hospital in Salt Lake City, on Wednesday for injuries she sustained in her Monday evening crash.

Whenever she is well enough, police say Cleghorn will face dozens of felonies and misdemeanors that include accusations of identity theft, passing counterfeit money and checks, possessing drugs and giving pornography to children under the age of 10.

Cleghorn had been arrested in mid-March in Vernal, Utah, on 27 of the felony and misdemeanor charges, but had posted a $10,000 bond in April, according to Uintah County, Utah, District Court records. Uintah Basin Media reported that Cleghorn failed to appear for a July 16 pretrial hearing and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

It appears she came to Powell later that month.

Three felony counts filed in Park County allege Cleghorn used bogus checks at the Powell Shopko to take $413 worth of items on July 30 and another $669 worth of stuff on July 31. A Shopko manager called police later that day; Powell Police investigator Mike Hall said the checks appeared home-made, printed off-center on printer paper.

Further, Cleghorn used her brother’s name, a credit union account of a Utah resident who doesn’t have checks and gave a non-existent Utah driver’s license number to make the purchases, Hall said.

Cleghorn left the area, but thanks to an alert bank teller and cooperation among state and local law enforcement, police caught a break around 4 p.m. Monday.

That’s when an employee at Cody’s First Bank of Wyoming called 911 to report a woman in the drive-through was trying cash a check not in her name, said Park County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lance Mathess.

The First Bank of Wyoming employee had contacted the individual whose name was on the check and they denied writing it, Mathess said.

“The teller attempted to stall Ms. Cleghorn but when asked to come into the bank, she left the area in what was described as a white four-door Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck,” Mathess said.

Cody Police Detective Jason Stafford noticed the similarity between the incident and the bad checks in Powell, according to a news release from the Powell Police Department.

Cody Police Officer Seth Horn and investigator Hall put together a description of Cleghorn and her vehicle which Park County Sheriff’s dispatchers then broadcast to law enforcement across the region.

Park County Sheriff’s Deputy Hayes Randol reported having just seen Cleghorn’s vehicle southbound on Wyoming Highway 120 near Meeteetse.

With that heads up having been relayed to Hot Springs County, a sheriff’s deputy there tried to pull Cleghorn over around 5:30 p.m. She instead led law enforcement on a chase that stretched from Thermopolis through the Wind River Canyon and Shoshoni into Riverton. Cleghorn avoided several spike strips laid by law enforcement to continue the chase, police said. Riverton Police Capt. Eric Murphy told the news website that Cleghorn was throwing items from her vehicle during the chase — including a tub containing what appeared to be counterfeit money and checks.

The pursuit ended when Cleghorn entered Riverton city limits, sideswiped a Jeep and then rolled. She crashed through a power pole, gas meter and a monument business’s display before coming to a stop, trapped inside.

The occupants of the Jeep were uninjured, but Cleghorn was later airlifted to Salt Lake City.

The Tribune was unable to obtain information on her condition on Wednesday.

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