A career criminal sentenced Sept. 2 in Colusa County Superior Court to two years in state prison is being tossed back to his home county until the state resumes taking prisoners.
Kevin Paul Warnock, 61, of Chico, has been in the Colusa County Jail since his March 7 arrest for leading Colusa County Sheriff’s deputies on a high speed pursuit along River Road, following a report of an alleged theft at Ward’s Landing.
The pursuit reportedly reached speeds in excess of 100 mph and lasted about 20 minutes, crossing into Glenn County, and then back into Colusa County, before Warnock eventually pulled the car over and unsuccessfully tried to flee on foot.
Warnock pleaded guilty last week to a single felony charge of evading a peace officer, in a plea deal that dismissed charges related to identity theft, receiving stolen property, check fraud, petty theft, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Because the California Department of Corrections is not admitting new prisoners, due to COVID-19 concerns, Warnock was turned back over to Butte County, where he is facing three years in prison on a second-degree burglary charge with prior convictions, after he violated his probation by committing the Colusa County crime. Warnock is also on probation in Glenn County, court records indicate.
Colusa County District Attorney Matthew Beauchamp, who recommended the mid-term sentence, said Warnock, who has 19 prior felony convictions, is intent on “doing life in jail on the installment plan.”
Warnock has a lengthy history of mostly theft-related crimes throughout Northern California, and was once listed as Butte County’s Most Wanted felon.
In 2006, Warnock gave multiple law enforcement agencies the slip after a lengthy high-speed pursuit in Glenn County, in which Warnock reportedly ditched a stolen pickup and fled on foot through an orchard.
In that incident, Warnock allegedly pointed a gun at Orland Police Officer Nick Mondragon, who managed to hit the ground and fire several rounds from his service weapon, before Warnock managed to escape.
Warnock was captured a few weeks later by a Glenn County Sheriff’s Deputy, following another high-speed pursuit that lasted about 15 minutes before Warnock crashed into a ditch and was taken into custody. Inside the pickup, deputies reportedly found narcotics, ammunition, and other property believed stolen in multiple North State burglaries.
Warnock’s rap sheet over the decades include charges of identity theft, fraud, auto theft, burglary, possession of heroin, and possession of methamphetamine, along with special allegations of having prior convictions, court records indicate.
At the time of his March 7 arrest, Warnock had just completed probation in Colusa County after pleading no contest in 2016 to three counts of shoplifting. He was previously convicted in Colusa County also for petty theft and receiving stolen property, court records indicate. ♣