A Newhall man who allegedly led Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies on a manhunt in February pleaded not guilty to ten counts Monday, said officials with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
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Jesse Tucker, 30, pleaded not guilty to nine felony counts and one misdemeanor count that arose from an hours-long standoff between deputies on Feb. 2, 2015.
The felony counts against Tucker include assault upon a peace officer or firefighter; resisting an executive officer; grand theft auto with a prior conviction; kidnapping; criminal threats; assault with a deadly weapon; driving or taking a vehicle without consent after a prior conviction; vandalism causing over $400 in damage; and fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving, said Sarah Ardalani, spokeswoman for the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
The misdemeanor count against Tucker includes driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, Ardalani continued.
He is scheduled to appear in Dept. I of the San Fernando Superior Courthouse on Jan. 22, 2016 for a pretrial hearing.
Deputies began searching for Tucker on Feb. 2, 2015 around 8:46 a.m. after he allegedly stole a white F-150 truck from gardeners in Stevenson Ranch.
Tucker was trying to sell the stolen gardening equipment when a deputy spotted him in Newhall, witnesses said.
While deputies were trying to detain Tucker for questioning regarding the alleged car theft, he tried to run over a deputy, according to officials. The deputy then fired a round at the truck.
The truck was recovered after Tucker fled on foot.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help and McGrath schools were temporarily on lockdown as a precautionary measure, officials said.
K9 and helicopter units were called to the search.
Tucker has previously been convicted of vandalism, narcotics possession, illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, grand theft auto, felony theft, driving without a license and evading arrest, according to court records.