Woman pleads guilty to charges stemming from ‘reckless’ high-speed chase in Southern Utah

Fifth District Courthouse, Cedar City, Utah, April 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A Colorado woman who led authorities on a high-speed chase in Southern Utah in December has been sentenced to serve eight months in jail and three years of probation, plus fines.

Amber Lee Butler, 37, was sentenced Monday by 5th District Judge Matthew L. Bell. The court hearing was conducted remotely via videoconference.

As previously reported in Cedar City News, Butler was accused of failing to pull over when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper attempted to make a traffic stop on Interstate 15 on the night of Dec. 26. She then reportedly led the trooper on a 40-mile chase from northern Iron County into Beaver County, with speeds reaching 130 mph. Eventually, the car, a black BWM, was brought to a stop when its front tires were flattened with spike strips. 

In addition to Butler, two male juveniles who had been passengers in the car reportedly fled the scene on foot. All three individuals were later apprehended. When police found Butler and arrested her the next morning in Beaver, she initially provided false information, giving her sister’s name and date of birth instead of her own, according to a probable cause statement.

Butler initially faced a dozen various charges, including failure to stop at command of police, drug possession, firearm possession by a restricted person, providing false personal information, speeding and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Iron County Jail booking photo of Amber Lee Butler, 37, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

As part of her agreement with prosecutors, Butler ultimately pleaded guilty to four counts, with all the remaining charges being dropped.

According to the sentencing agreement, Butler pleaded guilty to the following: failure to stop at command of police and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, both third-degree felonies; providing false information, a class A misdemeanor; and speeding, an infraction.

Although the sentencing matrix suggested a 120-day jail term, Iron County Attorney Chad Dotson said he pushed for that to be doubled, and the judge agreed, sentencing Butler to 240 days in jail but giving her credit for the 3 1/2 months that she has already been incarcerated.

“Butler’s auctions were reckless and stupid. They put law enforcement and the public at risk,” Dotson told Cedar City News as he explained why he asked the judge to double Butler’s recommended jail time.

Once Butler finishes her eight-month stint in Iron County Jail, she’ll be able to leave Utah and return to Colorado, where she’ll be placed on supervised probation for another 36 months, Dotson added.

Although Bell waived $23,447 worth of fines, he did order Butler to pay $1,212, including surcharges.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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