Rita Kathlene Dedios, 48, of Modesto, was convicted and sentenced to state prison on Dec. 13 for felony auto theft and recklessly evading a peace officer.
Based upon the circumstances of the danger posed to the community in a May 9 pursuit, and her lengthy previous criminal record, Judge Thomas Zeff sentenced Dedios to two years and eight months in state prison.
Deputy District Attorney Jared Jordan prosecuted the case and said Dedios climbed into a Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputy's car as he was stopped to direct traffic while California Highway Patrol officers attended to a traffic accident at Riverside Drive and Yosemite Boulevard in Modesto. Dedios drove the patrol off emergency lights still flashing.
Members of the Sheriff's Department, California Highway Patrol, and Ceres Police Department pursued Dedios down Mitchell Road. A spike strip was used to flatten one of the car's tires in an attempt to slow her down. Dedios ignored the flat tire as well as the lights and sirens of those pursuing her. Entering northbound Highway 99 she exceeded 100 mph before stopping and being taken into custody.
Dedios had been on felony probation for less than one month after having been convicted in April of vandalizing a Modesto Police patrol car.