Thursday, March 22, 2018

Woman charged in high speed chase

A Billings woman who allegedly led police on a chase in a stolen car before crashing it has denied criminal charges stemming from the May 3 incident.
Virginia Rogina-Rogers, 31, appeared handcuffed and in jail clothing in district court last Thursday and pleaded not guilty to one felony count of criminal endangerment and one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a motorized vehicle. Her bail was initially set at $75,000 but lowered to $10,000. As of Friday morning, she remained in the Yellowstone County Detention Facility.
Defense attorney Greg Paskell said last Thursday that Rogina-Rogers is a Billings resident and a certified wildland fire-firefighter.
At the request of Stillwater County Attorney Nancy Rohde, Rogina-Rogers will have to wear a GPS tracking unit if she posts bail.
According to court documents, at 12:51 a.m. on May 3, Columbus Police Officer Gary Timm discovered a Jeep Cherokee parked on the south side of the Town Pump had a license plate that came back as being registered to a Ferrari that had been stolen from Yellowstone County. Timm followed the Jeep as it headed toward I-90 and when he attempted to stop it, the driver accelerated. Timm and Stillwater County Sheriff’s Deputy Cole Waltner both pursued the Jeep, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph, according to court documents. At one point, a semi driver was forced to pull over to the
extreme right” to avoid the Jeep and pursing police.
The driver turned onto the Springtime exit ramp, ran a stop sign and turned left onto Highway 10, accelerating to 100 mph. The driver lost control of the Jeep, swerved into the south-side ditch, came back up on the roadway then went back down into the ditch, rolling the vehicle, according to court documents.
As the police approached the vehicle, Rogina-Rogers began yelling “that she was sorry and had been stupid,” according to court documents. She was helped out of the Jeep and declined medical attention.
She also told police that she had committed a gas drive-off in Billings earlier and had panicked when she saw police lights, according to court documents. She also said she had borrowed the Jeep and was on her way to see her boyfriend in Billings.