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Five felony charges filed following wild police chase west of Waynesville
Five felony charges filed following wild police chase west of Waynesville

Randall Lee Holyfield faces multiple felony charges following a police chase.
BUCKHORN, Mo. (Oct. 30, 2009) — A man accused of attacking a woman and children and leading five officers from three police agencies on a wild chase last week though the county’s back roads north of Witmore Farms pleaded innocent on Tuesday to five felony charges.

According to court records, Randall Lee Holyfield Jr., 38, who lives west of Waynesville, has retained local attorney James Thomas to represent him in the case. He’s been charged with second-degree assault and two counts of child abuse, all of which are Class C felonies, and with two Class D felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and of resisting arrest by fleeing while causing a substantial risk of serious injury or death.

Each of the three Class C felony charges carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison; the two Class D felony charges could be punished with up to four years in prison. Holyfield is still in the county jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond, though Thomas has petitioned to have his client’s bail reduced.

Those charges are considerably less than what sheriff’s deputies originally requested from Pulaski County prosecutors. According to the probable cause statement filed by deputies, they also asked for two additional charges of second-degree domestic assault, three charges of second-degree child welfare endangerment, and one charge each of second-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, driving while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner involving an accident.

The missing charges requested but not filed include allegations that Holyfield drove his 1997 Chevrolet Suburban SUV toward a deputy’s patrol car “in an aggressive manner in an attempt to ram the front end of the patrol car” and verbally stated that “if he rammed the patrol car we would shoot him,” but “changed his mind at the last moment” and “had the thought of provoking law enforcement to shoot him.”

Court records also show that Holyfield admitted to deputies that he “drank seven beers and four ‘Jager-bombs’” and showed visible signs of intoxication. Holyfield submitted to a blood draw after his arrest; filing of alcohol-related charges is routinely delayed until lab test results are complete. In a prepared statement issued after the charges were filed, Sheriff J.B. King indicated that charges for “additional traffic violations” are expected but made no mention of the prosecutor not filing charges for assaulting law enforcement personnel or the requested additional charges of domestic assault and child welfare endangerment.

According to sheriff’s records, the incident began at 1:36 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, when Pulaski County 911 dispatchers received a domestic disturbance report involving Holyfield and another woman at a home on Rim Drive in the Buckhorn area west of Waynesville. A man later identified at Holyfield fled in a red SUV by 1:54 a.m. and raced across a low-water crossing; the deputy’s probable cause statement filed with the court stated that the deputy “attempted to stop him while he was leaving his residence with (the deputy’s) emergency lights activated and attempted to block his vehicle with (the deputy’s) patrol car.”

Within minutes, deputies asked for backup from Waynesville police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol; five officers began a chase that lasted about five miles on county gravel roads.

As state troopers prepared to use spike strips to stop the vehicle on Highway 7 if needed, a Waynesville policeman reported at 1:58 a.m. that the SUV had sped past him at Witmore Farms but he lost the vehicle two minutes later while driving on Red Oak Road, a gravel road leading north from Exit 153 in Buckhorn. The Waynesville policeman spotted the vehicle again at 2:02 a.m., and three minutes later reported that he had crashed at the low water crossing on Red Oak with sufficient force that his airbags deployed. The deputy arrested Holyfield at gunpoint at 2:06 a.m., and retrieved a shotgun out of the vehicle a few minutes later.

Holyfield showed no apparent injuries but was checked out by medics and transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released from the emergency room. Missouri State Highway Patrol crash reports indicate that Holyfield, who had not been wearing his seat belt, was taken to St. John’s Hospital in Lebanon and treated for moderate injuries after crashing his SUV into several large rocks at the low-water crossing. His vehicle was extensively damaged and removed by Poor Boy’s Towing.

The shotgun was never fired during the incident, according to police reports and court records, but was repeatedly used to intimidate a woman, her two teenage daughters, and her pre-teen son. Holyfield put the shotgun to his shoulder, pointed it at the woman and threatened to kill her. The deputy’s report filed with the court also stated that Holyfield grabbed the woman and her daughters several times, throwing them into chairs or against the front door of the house, and attempted to pull his wife into his SUV by her head while backing out of the driveway. Three of the woman’s children also saw him pointing the shotgun toward another individual; two of the children were able to escape from their home and reach another residence despite Holyfield’s attempts to grab them and throw them into various objects. The woman and children said Holyfield had the smell of liquor on his breath.

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