Trials likely for suspect in 146 mph two-county chase


Staff Writer

FLORENCE, Wis. – Criminal cases against a man accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase through Iron and Florence counties are expected to go to trial.

Karl Dresch, 33, of Hancock has already been scheduled for a two-day jury trial from March 18 through 19 in Iron County Trial Court.

During a hearing in Florence County Court on Tuesday, Dresch told Judge Leon D. Stenz that he has not accepted a plea deal on his charges there.

Judge Stenz informed Dresch that if he did not accept the offer at the hearing, it would not likely be available again. The case would then be set for trial, he explained.

Dresch will return to Florence County Court for a status conference on Feb. 11 in order to schedule a trial date with his new attorney from the public defender’s office.

His former attorney, Don Powell of Iron River, officially withdrew from the case on Tuesday. Powell explained that Dresch’s family member who hired him could no longer afford the retainer.

In Iron County, Dresch faces one felony count of fleeing and eluding-fourth degree, one misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated, and one misdemeanor count of open intoxicants in a vehicle.

If convicted, he could spend up to two years in prison.

In Florence County, Dresch faces one felony count of recklessly endangering safety-first degree and fleeing and eluding an officer.

If convicted on those charges, he could spend up to 16 years in prison.

The charges against Dresch stem from a June 7 incident.

According to the criminal complaints in the case, a Florence County Sheriff’s Department deputy observed Dresch traveling at a speed of 72 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone on County Road N in Florence.

When the deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, Dresch did not pull over.

The chase continued from County Road N to U.S. 2 and into Michigan, where deputies from the Iron County Sheriff’s Department joined the pursuit.

Deputies claimed that chase speeds reached 146 miles per hour.

Dresch voluntarily pulled over on County Road 424, just east of Alpha.

No one was injured in the incident, though deputies claimed that Dresch nearly hit several vehicles while passing traffic in no-passing zones.

Nikki Younk’s e-mail address is nyounk@ironmountaindailynews.com.


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