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Jail, probation for teen who drove into store

Jul 25, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Donovan James Shakespeare will serve a year in jail for the Jan. 21 car theft and wreck.

An Ethete teen charged with crashing a stolen vehicle about 300 feet through Riverton's Walmart will get a year in jail and probation under a plea deal filed this month.

Attorneys and Donovan James Shakespeare signed the agreement that calls for the teen to plead guilty to felony property destruction and misdemeanor reckless endangering.

Pending judge's approval, the deal gives Shakespeare a deferred prosecution on the felony that dismisses the charge if he successfully completes five years of supervised probation.

A probation violation could result in the court entering his conviction and sentencing him to prison.

Jailed since January

Shakespeare will get one year in jail on the misdemeanor. He has been incarcerated on a $50,000 cash-only bond since his arrest, which was minutes after he crashed into the store at about 4:17 a.m. Jan. 21.

Police said Shakespeare, who was 17 at the time, stole a gray Chevrolet Cobalt and drove the vehicle while intoxicated through a front entrance, plowing 282 feet, nearly to the store's rear electronics section.

The car came within four feet of hitting one bystander, but no one was injured in the incident, according to court documents.

The crash caused upward of $100,000 in damage to the business and its merchandise and totaled the car, authorities reported.

Shakespeare will have to pay restitution, according to the charges filed by the Fremont County Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors charged Shakespeare with felony larceny and two counts of felony property destruction, as well as one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence, reckless endangering and reckless driving.

He faced up to 30 years in prison and $30,000 in fines. The misdemeanors carry a combined maximum punishment of two years in jail and $1,500 in fines.

The prosecution will request dismissal of the remaining charges pending court approval of the agreement.

Lander's 9th District Judge Norman E. Young previously set Shakespeare's jury trial for Aug. 6.

Shakespeare last appeared in District Court for his arraignment March 15 when he entered not-guilty pleas to his charges.

Shakespeare approved the plea agreement July 11, after Fremont County Attorney Brian Varn and deputy prosecutor Patrick LeBrun signed the document July 3. Afton-based defense attorney Spencer Allred signed the deal July 6.

BAC .17

Charging documents in the case alleged a blood-alcohol test taken at the Riverton Police Department showed the teen was nearly a .17, more than twice the state's legal limit for driving at .08.

Police said that minutes before the crash, Shakespeare stole the car that had been idling at an apartment complex on Eagle Drive near Central Wyoming College. He took the car just before its occupants put their child into the warming-up vehicle, according to court documents.

In a sworn statement accompanying the charges, Riverton Police Department officer Victor Matoon said the crash destroyed shelving units in the store and scattered merchandise including food, stuffed animals, plants, electronics, pictures, frames and other items.

Employees identified Shakespeare as the driver who fled from the vehicle and ran toward the store's automotive department, according to Matoon's affidavit.

A store employee and a police officer outside the store detained Shakespeare, who smelled of alcohol and required help to walk without falling down, according to court documents.

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