By Travis Uresk
Vernal, Ut. 9/16/23,
Uintah County Deputy Lyman observed a female who he recognized riding her bike northbound on 2500 West. The Deputy checked the female for warrants and found several warrants.
Deputy Lyman turned around and re-acquired a visual on 38-year-old Ashley Jean Birchell, but there was nowhere to park, so he parked on the other side of the road, activated his emergency lights, and went to get out of his vehicle. Ashley began riding faster, and the Deputy called her name twice, saying, "Ashley, stop."
Ashley continued riding northbound past the Deputy's location at 1200 N 2500 W. Deputy Lyman turned around and saw Ashley turn East on 1500 N. As she turned the corner, she looked back at the Deputy and saw him following her with his lights and sirens still activated.
She continued eastbound, and Deputy Lyman pulled in front of Ashley and pulled off the side of the road. Ashley turned into a driveway and rode to the end of the driveway while the residents began to yell at Ashley to leave. Lyman continued down the driveway by foot.
Ashley left her bike at the end of the driveway and walked through the creek bed, attempting to prevent being arrested. The Deputy still had a visual on Ashley and asked other officers to respond and set up containment. Deputy Lyman continued looking around and following the creek bed to the East.
Lyman saw Ashley, and she turned back toward the North, heading to 1500 N. Deputy Lyman got on the radio and advised the other officers to patrol near 1500 N. After crossing back over the creek, he lost sight of Ashley again. A perimeter was set up, and Officer Lilga later said he had a visual of her. Ashley continued walking eastbound past Deputy Lyman, then headed back to the South again.
Officer Lilga saw Ashley traveling South through an alfalfa field. Officer Beatty responded to the area of 2300 W 1000 N. Deputy Lyman then returned to the area where Ashley had last been seen. Other officers began walking the creek bed, where they spotted Ashley again when she crossed the creek and went South toward Officer Beatty's location.
Officer Beatty called out to Ashley and approached her. At this point, Ashley had been surrounded by officers, and Officer Beatty was able to take her into custody.
After Ashley was taken into custody, she stated that she had recently used fentanyl and had a tooter in her pocket. Sgt Cottam removed the tooter containing suspected fentanyl from her pocket. The tooter had a brown-colored substance consistent with fentanyl.
Ashley was taken to Uintah County Jail, where she was booked on 7 warrants: Possession of a controlled substance 58-37-8(2)(A)(i), a 3rd Degree Felony (enhanced for priors); Possession of Drug Paraphernalia 58- 37a-5, a Class B Misdemeanor; and Failure to Stop at the command of a police officer, 76-8-305.5, a Class A Misdemeanor.
Ashley is currently supervised with AP&P. After Ashley was taken into custody, Her AP&P agent was called and advised of the new charges. Deputy Lyman was advised that Ashley was supposed to be in drug court, but she had been in hiding and never checked into drug court. Ashley's warrants were issued in July of 2023, and she has been avoiding apprehension for 2 months. Ashley will continue to avoid apprehension and will likely flee from the charges if she is released on bail.