Colorado court says fugitive sibling has plea deal

One of the three Dougherty siblings accused in a multi-state crime spree has reached a plea deal with prosecutors, a spokesman for the Colorado court system said Wednesday.

Prosecutors and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, are scheduled to present a plea deal to a judge on Thursday, spokesman Rob McCallum said.

Dougherty's lawyer, Patrick McCarville, declined to comment citing a gag order imposed by Chief District Judge Claude Appel. District Attorney Frank Ruybalid didn't immediately return a call.

Dougherty and her two brothers — Ryan Dougherty, 21, and Dylan Stanley-Dougherty, 26 — are accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida, as well as robbing a Georgia bank before being captured in southern Colorado on Aug. 10.

The siblings had faced five counts each in Colorado of attempted second-degree murder, first-degree assault, and other felony charges related to a high-speed chase and what authorities say was a shootout leading up to their capture.

But prosecutors earlier this month dropped attempted murder charges against Lee Grace Dougherty. She now faces eight felony first-degree assault charges, each carrying the sentence enhancing charge of being a crime of violence, and eight felony menacing charges for each of the officers allegedly fired at or threatened during the chase.

Each first-degree assault charges carries a penalty of up to 12 years in prison, while each felony menacing charges carries a three year penalty.

The siblings' attorneys during a hearing in September questioned whether prosecutors' evidence could prove that the siblings were trying to harm or kill officers, pointing to an apparent lack of bullet holes on police cruisers involved in the chase.

There's no word yet on whether the Dougherty brothers have also reached plea deals. Colorado, federal and Florida prosecutors have been discussing possible plea deals involving them.

Stanley-Dougherty allegedly plotted to break out of the Walsenburg jail and had found his way into the walls and ceiling of the building. Deputies said on Jan. 10 they found a homemade knife, a letter addressed to the FBI and the note to his sister that detailed a plan to drop down on guards in the control booth at the jail.

He has since been transferred to the jail in Pueblo, 45 miles away.

Lee Grace Dougherty pleaded not guilty to the Colorado charges and had been scheduled to go on trial Feb. 21. If Appel accepts the plea deal, sentencing typically would happen within two months.