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Woman who led chase back in Park County; Jamie Cleghorn faces three felony charges in 2013 crime spree

Utah woman who eluded authorities in Wyoming and Utah — temporarily, that is — was brought back to Park County to face allegations that she passed phony checks in Powell.

Jamie Cleghorn, 35, made her first local court appearance Monday morning on two felony counts of forgery and another of check fraud totaling $1,000 or more.

Cleghorn is alleged to have passed two bogus checks at Shopko on July 30-31, 2013, that totaled $1,082.59.

At the recommendation of Deputy Park County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Blatt, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters set Cleghorn’s bond at $15,000 cash.

Cleghorn asked if she could be allowed to post a $15,000 surety bond instead, but Waters stuck with the cash.

“I think under the circumstances, I think there are flight risk issues that are fairly significant in this case,” Waters said.

On the afternoon of Aug. 12, 2013, a Hot Springs County Sheriff’s deputy had tried stopping Cleghorn’s vehicle outside of Thermopolis on the Powell check fraud allegations and dozens of other outstanding charges from Utah. Instead of pulling over, she fled.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol took over the pursuit in Shoshoni and unsuccessfully tried to spike Cleghorn’s tires. The chase ended in Riverton when Cleghorn sideswiped a Jeep, hit the curb, crossed five lanes and rolled, police say. Her truck sheared off a gas meter and a power pole in the crash.

Cleghorn reported being injured and was flown to a hospital in Salt Lake City, where two days later — after some kind of mixup in communications between Utah law enforcement agencies — she was allowed to walk free.

Police recaptured her on Aug. 27, 2013, in West Point, Utah.

The Wyoming Highway Patrol said at the time that Cleghorn had more than 40 active warrants for her arrest on charges ranging from identity theft to passing counterfeit money to possessing drugs. She’d thrown a container holding apparent counterfeit cash from her truck during the August 2013 chase, Riverton Police Capt. Eric Murphy told the news website last year.

Former Powell Police Investigator Michael Hall said in an affidavit used to support the Park County charges that at least one of the checks passed at Shopko appeared to have been printed on printer paper, with the text off-center and the Utah credit union’s logo copied and pasted on.

Hall concluded Cleghorn had apparently used her brother’s name and the bank account number of an unknowing credit union customer on the checks.

Hall said Cleghorn tried making another $232 purchase at the Worland Shopko on Aug. 1, 2013, but was unsuccessful.

Police caught on to Cleghorn’s trail the day of the chase when a teller at Cody’s First Bank of Wyoming caught her trying to cash a bogus check and called 911.

At the time she allegedly passed the phony checks in Wyoming, Cleghorn was supposed to be in Utah, answering a mix of felony and misdemeanor charges.

After her Aug. 27, 2013, arrest, Cleghorn ended up serving about 15 months in Utah jails. She was transferred to Park County over the weekend.

“I’ve completed everything,” Cleghorn said Monday.

Blatt, the prosecutor, said his records indicate Cleghorn has a pending charge and warrant for theft that dates back to 2005 or 2006 in Blountsville, Ala., but Cleghorn said she isn’t aware of any such charge.

“This is my first time being in trouble,” she said.

A preliminary hearing, where a judge will weigh whether there’s enough evidence for the forgery and fraud charges to advance to Park County’s District Court, is tentatively set for Monday.

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