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2 arrested after woman allegedly steals, crashes Utah deputy's patrol car

Damage is shown to a Washington County sheriff's car that police say was stolen by a woman after she was stopped for a traffic violation in southern Utah Wednesday.

Damage is shown to a Washington County sheriff's car that police say was stolen by a woman after she was stopped for a traffic violation in southern Utah Wednesday. (Washington County Sheriff's Office)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

NEW HARMONY, Washington County — A woman was arrested Wednesday and accused of stealing and crashing a deputy's car after the deputy pulled her over for traffic violations, police said.

About 7 p.m., the Washington County sheriff's deputy initiated a traffic stop on the northbound 2020 Nissan Altima vehicle on I-15 between Pintura and New Harmony. While approaching the vehicle, the deputy reported "the odor of marijuana" coming from inside the vehicle, Washington County Sheriff's Lt. Davis Crouse said in a statement.

The deputy asked the driver, Samantha Desiray Holladay, 30, of Salt Lake City, to go to the deputy's vehicle during the traffic investigation. Meanwhile, Holladay's passenger, Boyd Ozzie Murillo, 30, also of Salt Lake City, remained in the Altima.

While the deputy gathered information for the traffic citation, they told Holladay they had probable cause to search her vehicle, according to Crouse.

"Both Holladay and the deputy began to exit the patrol vehicle, however Holladay reentered the passenger seat and locked the doors. Holladay then climbed into the driver's seat, and began to drive northbound on I-15 with emergency lights activated on the stolen police cruiser," Crouse said in the statement.

More officers with the sheriff's office and the Utah Highway Patrol responded to chase to police car. The chase reached speeds that at times exceeded 120 mph, Crouse said. After a "relatively short distance," Holladay left the roadway and crashed. After a short chase, she was arrested, Crouse said.

The sheriff's office said Holladay and Murillo were both on supervised probation.

"A subsequent search of the Altima yielded 5.2 pounds of suspected cocaine, 15.2 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, approximately $20,000 in U.S. currency and a stolen handgun," Crouse said.

Holladay was charged Thursday in 5th District Court with two counts of intent to distribute a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, weapon possession by restricted person, theft, and theft by receiving stolen property, all second-degree felonies; as well as failure to stop at the command of police, a third-degree felony. She also faces several misdemeanor charges and infractions in connection with the incident.

In August, Holladay was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, court records show.

In 2019, Holladay pleaded guilty to two counts attempted possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a third-degree felony amended from a second-degree felony in exchange for her plea, according to court documents. She also pleaded guilty that same year in a separate case to failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony.

Murillo, who Crouse said is currently on federal probation, was charged Thursday in 5th District Court with two counts possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, theft by receiving stolen property, and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, all second-degree felonies. He also faces misdemeanor drug charges in connection to the incident.

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