Woman admits her role in October police chase
A woman facing 15 criminal charges for her role in a potentially deadly police pursuit last October has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
Michelle Renee Luther, 29, admitted to three counts of attempted murder in a guilty plea entered Friday in Washington County Circuit Court. She was sentenced to 120 months — or 10 years — in the state penitentiary.
Luther and her husband, Joshua David Luther, were arrested Oct. 25, 2016, after they reportedly led police officers on a pursuit from Highway 99W in Tigard through Lake Oswego to the intersection of Lower Boones Ferry Road and Jean Way in Tualatin. During the lengthy chase, police reported that they were shot at multiple times.
The Luthers were suspected in the armed robbery of the Aladdin Inn in Southwest Portland earlier that morning. The chase reportedly began when the suspects' white minivan was spotted at a Shell gas station in Tigard.
In her guilty plea, Michelle Luther wrote that "I knowingly committed robbery in the first degree, and in the immediate flight from the commission of the crime, another participant in the crime did intentionally attempt to cause the death of 3 other human beings."
Michelle Luther's trial date had been scheduled to begin on May 9 in Washington County Circuit Court. The plea deal forestalls that proceeding.
Other charges against Michelle Luther were dropped under the plea agreement, including three reckless endangerment charges. Police said after arresting the Luthers on Oct. 25 that they discovered three children in the backseat of their van.
While attempting to flee on foot after their van came to a stop near the Walgrens drugstore on Boones Ferry Road, Joshua Luther was shot and injured by a Tigard police officer. He was hospitalized and arrested upon his release a few days later.
Joshua Luther still faces 23 criminal charges for his involvement in the crime spree. His trial date is set for June 27.
In addition to her 10-year sentence, Michelle Luther also was fined $200. She is eligible to receive credit for time served during her prison sentence.