DUI stop on Sunset Boulevard turns into felony arrest for 2 locals

Stock image | Photo by Matt Gush/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A traffic stop for a revoked driver’s license landed two suspects in jail Saturday after narcotics and paraphernalia were recovered by an alert police officer, along with the K-9 unit that responded to assist.

Patrick Vaughn Kelly, 36, of Santa Clara, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Early Saturday morning, an officer observed a vehicle heading east on St. George Boulevard and inside they recognized the driver, 36-year-old Patrick Kelly of Santa Clara, from prior contacts. The officer also suspected that Kelly was driving on a revoked license, according to the probable cause statements filed in support of the arrests.

The vehicle was stopped on West Sunset near the McDonald’s restaurant, and while speaking with the driver, the officer began to suspect that Kelly was possibly under the influence after noting that Kelly’s speech was slow and his eyes appeared to be watering and bloodshot.

The driver was given a field sobriety test, which he reportedly failed, and he was arrested and placed in the back of the patrol unit while a K-9 unit was called in to assist.

Meanwhile, the passenger, 24-year-old Kylie Lynn Gower, was told to exit the car and was seated on the curb nearby.

During an exterior sweep of the vehicle, the K-9 alerted to the possible presence of narcotics, which is when the car was searched by police. Inside, the report states, officers located a number of different drugs, the report states,. This included methamphetamine that was recovered from the passenger’s seat, along with a container of heroin located on the floorboard.

When asked if she had anything hidden on her person, Gower admitted to having drugs hidden in her pants, explaining that the driver asked her to hide the items “so they wouldn’t get caught with them,” as the vehicle was being pulled over by police.

Gower allegedly handed over a number of bags containing methamphetamine, as well as smaller baggies that contained what appeared to be heroin. She also handed over four different types of pills, primarily opiates and benzodiazepines, in addition to a number of straws and needles that had drug residue on them.

Both suspects were transported and booked into the Washington County Jail on multiple charges, including two third-degree felony counts of possession of a controlled substance, as well as several misdemeanor drug and paraphernalia charges. The suspects also face one count of tampering with evidence each, also a misdemeanor, and Kelly faces a driving on a revoked license offense.

Prior to transporting the suspect, officers conducted a background check and found that Kelly had numerous cases dating back more than 10 years. Officers also determined that Gower had multiple convictions for similar offenses, including one case filed in February following a pursuit in Iron County.

Kylie Lynn Gower, 24, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Oct. 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

In that case, Gower was arrested following a pursuit that began with Beaver County Sheriff’s deputies that were tasked with investigating a robbery report involving a woman who reported she was robbed by three suspects who also stole her vehicle, according to charging documents filed with the court.

An “attempt to locate” broadcast was sent out to all surrounding agencies, alerting officers to keep an eye out for a vehicle matching the description of the one taken during the robbery.

A vehicle matching that description was spotted in Iron County at the gas pumps of a TA truck stop in Parowan by an officer who got behind the car as it entered the southbound on-ramp of Interstate 15.

Once backup arrived, the report states, the vehicle was pulled over by police, but as officers ordered all occupants to exit the vehicle, the driver sped away and continued south along the interstate at a high rate of speed.

With three patrol units in pursuit, the vehicle continued westbound at more than 100 mph when the driver failed to negotiate a turn at a dead-end intersection, where it struck a concrete rock pillar.

All three occupants jumped from the vehicle and ran from police, including the third occupant, later identified as Gower, who was injured in the crash. After fleeing, Gower returned to the scene and “walked right into officers,” and was arrested, the report states.

Once in custody, the suspects were interviewed and allegedly admitted to fleeing from police, stating “they knew running was the wrong thing to do but did it anyway,” the officer noted in the report.

During a search of the vehicle, officers located a number of items believed to be stolen, leading officers to continue the investigation that may result in additional charges that may be forthcoming.

Gower was transported to the Iron County Jail and booked on multiple charges, including second-degree vehicle theft, along with third-degree felony count for failing to stop or respond at command of law enforcement. She was also charged with misdemeanor fleeing charge as well as other drug and vehicle charges.

The suspect pleaded guilty to the charges during a hearing held in March, including the felony charges that were each reduced to a misdemeanor in exchange for the guilty plea. She was credited with serving 22 days in jail, was placed on probation and then released from custody.

Following Saturday’s incident, both Kelly and Gower remain in custody in Washington County without bail.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!