Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, July 23

Chase suspect pleads guilty
Demko was shot twice during incident

KINGMAN - A Kingman man who was shot twice while he led officers on a high-speed chase in July accepted a plea agreement Thursday.

John E. Demko Jr., 22, of Kingman was originally charged with two counts of aggravated assault, a class two felony; one felony count of theft of a means of transportation; criminal damage; unlawful flight; and endangerment.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to two reduced class three felony counts of aggravated assault. The County Attorney's Office dropped the designation that the assault victims were police officers, which reduced the charges.

According to the plea agreement, he could serve up to 10 years in prison or five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution to the city of Kingman, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Perry Plateo.

Judge Steven Conn set Demko's sentencing hearing for April 30.

The evening of July 23, Mohave County Sheriff's deputies received a report of a stolen vehicle in the 4400 block of North Willow Street. MCSO issued an attempt to locate to all local law enforcement agencies for a white pickup truck.

Kingman Police officers located the truck at 8 p.m. Three KPD officers and a MCSO deputy attempted to stop the truck on Stockton Hill Road near the Andy Devine Avenue intersection.

Demko backed the vehicle into one KPD cruiser and ran into another, pinning one officer against a vehicle. During the incident, the officer fired multiple shots, striking Demko twice.

Demko escaped onto Interstate 40. MCSO deputies deployed spike strips and blew out all four of Demko's tires. Demko then struck an Arizona Department of Public Safety unit multiple times before finally coming to a stop on the Andy Devine Avenue overpass.

Demko's father later said his son was taking medication for a mental illness, that he was frightened and only trying to get away when he was shot by police.

The officer involved in the shooting was cleared of any wrongdoing.


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