On Thursday, May 16, 2013, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, KENNETH RAY BEAMS, d/o/b: 4/13/1985, of Hollister, entered a guilty plea to two (2) felony charges, and was sentenced to Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr to ten (10) years in prison. Beams pleaded guilty to the class B felony of assaulting a law enforcement officer and the unclassified felony of armed criminal action. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Beams received a sentence of ten (10) years on each count, to be concurrent to each other.
The charges resulted from a traffic stop of a Dodge passenger car initiated by a Taney County Deputy on April 3, 2013, at the intersection of Iowa Colony and Timber Ridge roads. The stop originated due to the Dodge passenger car having license plates that were registered to a Jeep. Once the Dodge pulled into a driveway, the deputy exited his patrol car and began to make contact with the driver, whom he identified as Kenneth Ray Beams. However, the Dodge slowly started to drive away, while the deputy shouted commands at Beams to stop the car. Rather than stopping the car, Beams accelerated the Dodge in the direction of the deputy, while the deputy was able to safely jump behind his patrol vehicle. Beams successfully escaped in the Dodge from that traffic stop, then was pursued by officers onto Highway 65. While officers attempted to get into position to throw out spike strips to slow the Dodge, Beams swerved the car in the direction of the officers, causing the pursuit to be halted. Beams was apprehended the next day after being hospitalized due to an ATV crash.
The class B felony of assaulting a law enforcement officer in the second degree carries a range of punishment of five (5) years to fifteen (15) years or life in prison. Armed criminal action carries minimum penalty of three (3) years in prison and no maximum sentence.