, Corbin, KY

April 3, 2013

Bunn receives 9-year sentence

Guilty of fleeing or evading police, criminal mischief; could also face 10 years in federal prison

The Times-Tribune


By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

Nine years — that’s the official sentence handed to a Louisiana man who pleaded guilty in Whitley County Circuit Court last month to charges related to a high-speed chase in October.

Thomas William Bunn, 26, received three years for each count. Bunn is guilty of two counts of first-degree fleeing or evading police and one count of first-degree criminal mischief.

But the Whitley County Detention Center will have some time to wait before getting a cell ready for him — he must first serve his sentence for his federal charges.

Bunn appears in federal court May 7 to receive that sentence before U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves. As part of his federal plea agreement, Bunn pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Bunn could face up to 10 years in federal prison, and be fined as much as $250,000.

Bunn will likely face charges in other states, as his multi-jurisdictional crime spree began in October after absconding from his parole from state custody in Louisiana, according to an affidavit filed by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Todd Tremaine.

That affidavit also accuses Bunn in connection with two burglaries in Louisiana, and a burglary in Florida.

The Florida burglary netted Bunn a Tactical Weapons Solutions AR-15 rifle, the affidavit states.

That weapon ended up in the Fast Cash Pawn Shop in Williamsburg, according to an online database called LEADS, which shows law enforcement when a reported stolen weapon makes its appearance in a pawn shop. Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird confirmed Bunn pawned the rifle for $300.

Corbin Police actually caught up with Bunn. On Oct. 29, officers were called to the Days Inn at Exit 25 of I-75 to investigate a suspicious vehicle.

The officer who found Bunn attempted to question him, but Bunn fled the scene driving a truck.

Police pursued Bunn onto northbound I-75, where he led law enforcement officials on a 24-mile high-speed chase, at times reaching speeds exceeding 100 mph.

The vehicle chase ended about Exit 49, but not before Bunn damaged or disabled five law enforcement vehicles. He abandoned the vehicle and fled into the woods on foot.

A search of the abandoned truck uncovered a pawn ticket for the AR-15 with Bunn’s name and address listed, as well as 20 rounds of ammunition for the weapon.

He was arrested at a residence in Whitley County.

After his sentencing Monday he was remanded back into federal custody.