Teen takes deal in three-county chase


IRON MOUNTAIN — A Vulcan teen will be sentenced April 16 after accepting a plea deal Monday on Dickinson County charges stemming from an August 2017 chase through three counties.

Cory John LaBonte, 18, pleaded guilty in Dickinson County Circuit Court to fleeing a police officer-third degree, a five-year felony; receiving and concealing stolen property-motor vehicle, a five-year felony; and a probation violation with a maximum penalty of two years.

In exchange for the pleas, the Dickinson County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed additional charges of felony fleeing a police officer-third degree, felony receiving and concealing stolen property-motor vehicle, and misdemeanor reckless driving.

Furthermore, prosecutors will recommend LaBonte receive concurrent instead of consecutive sentencing on his probation violation.

LaBonte admitted in court he was on felony probation Aug. 18, 2017, when he stole a 2008 Buick LaCrosse with keys inside from someone he didn’t know.

Dickinson County sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, which had been reported stolen from Escanaba, in Iron Mountain, according to the criminal complaint.

LaBonte said in court he “didn’t stop, just hit the gas pedal and took off” because he was driving a stolen vehicle.

He drove down an off-road vehicle trail and then continued to North Milwaukee Avenue and out of sight, the complaint states.

Later that night, Norway Police officers spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over.

But LaBonte led them on a chase through Dickinson and Menominee counties, hitting speeds of more than 100 mph, before crashing at the U.S. 2/M-69 junction in Delta County and fleeing on foot, according to the complaint.

LaBonte was sentenced in November to six months in jail, with credit for 101 days already served, for his Delta County charges from the same incident.