Couple Sentenced to Prison for Fleeing Police in U-Haul Vehicle

A woman and man who led police on a lengthy pursuit that ended in Montebello were sentenced to prison today, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

At today’s court appearance, Trisha Marie Martinez, 24, pleaded no contest to three counts in case VA146661: driving or taking a vehicle without consent; fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving; and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage.

Martinez’s co-defendant, Harold Brian Escobar, 29, also pleaded no contest to two counts: receiving a stolen vehicle, trailer, construction equipment or vessel; and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving. Escobar also admitted he was previously convicted of carjacking in 2010.

Following the plea, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joseph R. Porras sentenced Martinez to 16 months in state prison, while Escobar received a four-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors said on Jan. 3, officers observed a U-Haul rental truck running through a stop sign in Bell Gardens. When authorities checked the vehicle’s license plate, they discovered the truck had been stolen, according to prosecutors.

Police attempted to pull the car over. However, the driver, later identified as Martinez, did not completely stop the vehicle and a police pursuit ensued, prosecutors added.

The pursuit continued on several surface streets and freeways, but ultimately ended when the truck collided with another vehicle in Montebello, according to prosecutors.

At that point, law enforcement took both Martinez and Escobar into custody.

The case was investigated by the Bell Gardens Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case VA146661 / January 19, 2018

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