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Man sentenced for car chase

John Rech Jr.

A Reno, Nev., man pleaded guilty Thursday to three charges related to a high-speed pursuit south of Jamestown on July 21.

John Martin Rech Jr., 38, entered the pleas before Judge John Greenwood in Southeast District Court in Jamestown.

Rech was charged with reckless endangerment, a Class C felony, and fleeing a police officer and driving under the influence of alcohol while over the age of 21 while accompanied by a minor, Class A misdemeanors.

Rech was accused of using an automobile in a reckless manner to create the risk of serious bodily injury or death, fleeing or attempting to flee law enforcement officers and driving while intoxicated with one of his children in the car on July 21.

Stutsman County State’s Attorney Fritz Fremgen said speeds in the chase reached 100 mph on U.S. Highway 281 south of Jamestown. The chase began on Mill Hill in Jamestown and extended south about 8 miles before Rech reversed course and returned to Jamestown. Rech drove his vehicle directly at police, North Dakota Highway Patrol and Stutsman County sheriff’s vehicles at times during the pursuit, according to court documents.

He was apprehended just east of U.S. 281 on the south edge of Jamestown.

Scott Sandness, Rech’s court-appointed attorney, said Rech was sorry for his actions and thankful no one was hurt.

Fremgen recommended Rech be sentenced to three years in the North Dakota Department of Corrections with five years of supervised probation.

Sandness recommended two years in the North Dakota Department of Corrections, the minimum mandatory sentence for reckless endangerment.

Rech made an emotional statement on his own behalf before sentencing.

“I am here to be helped,” he said. “I invoked what happened. It was my cry for help.”

Greenwood sentenced Rech to two years in the North Dakota Department of Corrections with credit for 31 days served on the reckless endangerment charge. Upon release, he is subject to 18 months supervised probation. He is required to pay $1,360 in court costs at a rate of no less than $100 per month.

Rech was sentenced to 60 days in prison on each misdemeanor charge with all sentences to be served concurrently.

A Class C felony is punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. In the case of reckless endangerment, it carries a mandatory minimum of two years in prison without the benefit of parole. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at