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No reduced bail for ex-con charged with fleeing cops

A convicted felon and one of Butte County’s Most Wanted won’t get out of jail free.

Despite new Judicial Council rules for clearing out jails and prisons to slow the spread of Covid-19, County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey A. Thompson denied 61-year-old Kevin Paul Warnock’s request on April 15 for “no or low” bail.

Warnock, who has a lengthy history of theft-related crimes throughout Northern California, is currently charged with evading a peace officer, identity theft, receiving stolen property, check fraud, petty theft, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Warnock was arrested around 1:50 PM on March 7 after leading Colusa County Sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed pursuit in a white Nissan Altima, following a report about an alleged theft at Ward’s Landing, according to Lt. Mark Contreras.

Contreres said the vehicle Warnock was driving was spotted on River Road shortly after the call and that Warnock sped away when the deputy initiated a traffic stop.
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 attempted to flee on foot.

Contreras said Warnock ran for about 500 feet before he was overtaken by a deputy, who took him into custody without incident or injury.

At the time of his arrest, Warnock was on probation and/or parole in multiple jurisdictions, including Glenn and Butte County.

Butte County Superior Court revoked Warnock’s probation and issued a warrant for his arrest on April 2, after he failed to appear in court on theft charges due to his current incarceration.

Warnock was previously sentenced to three years in state prison in 2016 for evading a peace officer with wilful disregard to the public in Butte County. He has a string of convictions on theft-related crimes in Glenn, Butte and Colusa counties, including second-degree burglary, vehicle theft with priors, petty theft, and shoplifting, along with multiple failures to appear, court records indicate.

In 2006, Warnock was on Butte County’s Most Wanted List gave multiple law enforcement agencies the slip after a lengthy high-speed pursuit in Glenn County in which Warnock allegedly ditched a reportedly stolen pickup and fled on foot through an orchard, according to reports.

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 handgun, 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 reportedly 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.

On Jan. 31, 2007, Warnock was sentenced to four years in state prison in Glenn County Superior Court after pleading guilty to auto theft, fleeing a peace officer, possession of heroin, and possession of methamphetamine in a plea deal that dismissed a number of other felony charges and special allegations that would have enhanced his prison sentence under California’s five-year rule.

Warnock, who is represented by Public Defender Albert Smith in the Colusa County case, was represented by Smith in the Glenn County case.

Despite new bail guidelines enacted as a result of the cornonavirus pandemic, Deputy Colusa County District Attorney Bradley Morrow said Warnock’s “long and significantly serious criminal history,” along with his multiple failures to appear in court as directed should make him ineligible to get out of jail free.

Judge Thompson agreed.

Warnock is being held on $60,000 bail awaiting the setting of his preliminary hearing on May 20.

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