Man who made daring escape from Farmington police pleads guilty to bank fraud

Mar 5 2013 - 6:36am


Joseph Lee Chatwin
Joseph Lee Chatwin

SALT LAKE CITY -- A man who made a daring escape in July from Farmington police and was captured following a dramatic vehicle pursuit has pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Joseph Lee Chatwin's plea Friday means he will receive a stipulated sentence of 12 years in prison followed by 60 months of supervised release. He will be sentenced June 3.

Chatwin, 41, and co-defendant Shauntae Leah Stratton, 24, both of Salt Lake City, were initially charged with access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, possession of stolen mail and possession of unauthorized access devices.

In addition, Chatwin also was charged with possession of a controlled substance; assaulting, resisting, and impeding officers; using a firearm during a crime of violence; and possession of a firearm by a restricted person in the 11-count federal indictment returned in October.

A change of plea hearing for Stratton is scheduled to be held today in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City.

Chatwin and Stratton were initially apprehended July 17 by Farmington police officers inside a stolen motor home at the Lagoon campground.

Chatwin escaped custody when he kicked out the window of a patrol car that was parked in a fenced-in area at Farmington police headquarters, Lt. Parish Snyder said. He then fled in a stolen Hummer that was later recovered in Salt Lake City.

Stratton also briefly escaped from a holding cell at Farmington police headquarters and was apprehended in a nearby park.

Chatwin was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service Joint Criminal Apprehension Team on Aug. 2, following a vehicle pursuit through Sandy, Murray and West Valley City.

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