Archive for Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trial ordered for driver accused in police chase; injured officer says he feared for his life

A woman accused of hitting a Lawrence police officer during a chase will stand trial in March.

January 14, 2009


The case of a Topeka woman accused of using a stolen car to intentionally hit and injure a Lawrence police officer will be heard by a jury, a judge ruled Wednesday morning.

Barbara Jo Schnegelsiepen, 27, faces eight felony and three misdemeanor charges for allegedly burglarizing two Lawrence homes Dec. 2 and then leading police on a lengthy and violent high-speed police chase, which went through rural areas west of Lawrence.

Tears fell from Lawrence Police Officer Doug Payne’s face as he recalled being struck by the fleeing car. Payne, testifying at Schnegelsiepen’s preliminary hearing, said the woman accelerated and drove directly at him as he stood on the south side of U.S. Highway 40, east of Big Springs. He said he was attempting to stop the fleeing car by placing stop sticks on the highway that would deflate the car’s tires.

“My initial thought was … that this was how I was supposed to die,” Payne said from the witness stand. “I’ve got family and two girls, and my only thought was to try to clear the front end of the vehicle, so I just by the grace of God was able to jump.”

Payne said his only choice was to jump into the center of the vehicle, which he estimates was traveling between 40 mph and 50 mph, fearing he would otherwise die or become a quadriplegic.

The officer was thrown into a grassy ditch. He was transported to Kansas University Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., where he was treated for his injuries and released the following day. Payne said he has lingering headaches, as well as neck, shoulder, lower back and right hip pain from being hit, and he may require surgery.

According to testimony from Lawrence Police Detective Sean Brown, Schnegelsiepen at one point during an interview said she thought she hit a sign on the shoulder of the road.

The suspect continued on and was eventually stopped after a police officer hit the car twice with his patrol car, those who testified said.

Schnegelsiepen is charged with two counts of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer for allegedly hitting Payne and running one of two stolen vehicles used in the chase into the side of Lawrence Police Officer Hayden Fowler’s police cruiser.

In addition, prosecutors filed a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer for forcing a patrol car driven by Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Kyle Moomau off the road. Moomau said the car was coming straight at him at about 80 mph.

“I didn’t want to get hit head on,” Moomau testified. “At that speed, it would be a serious accident.”

Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel determined enough evidence was presented during this week’s preliminary hearing for Schnegelsiepen to stand trial.

A jury trial was scheduled to begin March 30.


50YearResident 8 years, 11 months ago

Woman are on the rampage! Give them the car keys and they want to outrun the law!

Leslie Swearingen 8 years, 11 months ago

Since the woman is so obviously guilty, a trial is a waste of time and money. March 30 is more than two months off. She thought she hit a sign on the shoulder of the road? This is not the first time a lame excuse like this has been used. Are these people stupid, drunk, crazy or possibly all three. Doesn't seem like there is any way to stop these kind of people from getting behind the wheel. I guess they can come up with a gadget that detects the alcohol level of the car, but just plain stupid?

compmd 8 years, 11 months ago

"Schnegelsiepen said she thought she hit a sign on the shoulder of the road."And that defense worked out so well for Ramona Morgan.

somebodynew 8 years, 11 months ago

OK, all you haters out there. Read this story and think about what you would think about in the few seconds you "might" have left as the car speeds towards you. This a job you want to do???? These guys/girls face this possibility every time they go to work. Something you want to think about ?? And, think about the guy chasing her, and (probably) thinking one of his co-workers/friends just got killed!!! Can you handle it???Just some thoughts to make you go Hmmmm.......

Joe Hyde 8 years, 11 months ago

Spike strips are a wonderful tool for law enforcement. With extended pursuits like this one was, it's too bad spike strips aren't augmented more often with a round of 12-guage double-aught buck fired through the driver-side door. It's just a matter of getting the right lead on a crossing shot.

Chris Ogle 8 years, 11 months ago

.All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth... what a loser.

bangaranggerg 8 years, 11 months ago

In her defense, does Officer Payne resemble a road sign in any way? Just need to be clear. You know, because if he did have a giant octangular red face you'd maybe give her the benefit of the doubt.

Cristy White 8 years, 11 months ago

I too was injured severely in an auto accident and can clearly relate to how this officer felt. I will keep this officer in my prayers for a full and speedy recovery and as for the driver, honey if you were being chased you should have stopped because not only did this accident cause an officers hospitalization and severe injury you put anyone else in your path at risk. You will be prosecuted for this and when you do the crime be willing to do your time that goes with it. You brought this on yourself.....

JayHawk987 8 years, 11 months ago

Okay, he looked like a road sign? That's pathetic!!! That's coming out of the mouth of someone who's on meth!!! Why did she take the ditch, was it because of the stop sticks they had put down. Any jury in their right mind won't let her get away with this one. I would love to be the jury and the judge on this one. She's a known meth head, thief, etc. along with all her other meth heads!!! Lock her up, and then throw the key away. Come on!!! She has a rap sheets ten miles long in Shawnee County. Why can't they put all of her other offenses(breaking into homes, stealing cars, using financial cards that don't belong to her, forgery, stealing mail out of mailboxes, and God only knows what else, etc) that haven't been charged yet together. One more thief off the streets of Topeka and now she's taken her thievery to Lawrence. At least Douglas County keeps her in jail, Shawnee County lets her out within 2-3 days after arresting her and still hasn't filed some charges from 2008 on her. What's up with that!!! Shawnee County law enforcement and the DA need to get moving on these things. My heart goes out to the officers she hit and their families. His life will be changed forever because of her stupidity and her lifestyle. Get a job!!! Yes, I am bitter. What ever happened to the 3 strikes and you are out law? I am sure she hit her 3 strikes years ago!!!

Chris Ogle 8 years, 11 months ago

Hey bangar, being stuck on stupid is really not something to be proud of. IF you need to move on up, don't blame the elevator, push the button.

mike1978 8 years, 11 months ago

jayhawk987 is right the Schnegelsiepens are always walking away from crimes they go to court for assult and battery and every thing else you can think of ! and walk away ? one of them just recently has a court date for battery ! its his 3 rd time - the Schnegelsiepens are trailor trash law breakers and will always be- its glad to see that law enforcement in lawrence dosent put up with them ?

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