JUDGE GIVES CHASE CULPRIT 10 YEARS IN PEN

June 15, 2001 12:00 am
Roy Scott Fritts ().
Roy Scott Fritts ().

By T.L. Petersen

Observer Staff Writer

Roy Scott Fritts run west ended Thursday afternoon as he was sentenced to 10 years in the Oregon State Penitentiary.

Fritts, 23, is the Tennessee man who on June 5 fled along Interstate 84 near North Powder with his girlfriend, Holly Ervin, 22. During a high-speed chase, Fritts fired several shots at Union County Sheriff Steve Oliver who was in pursuit.

The car, driven by Ervin, eventually overturned and Fritts and Ervin attempted to flee on foot. Sheriffs deputies captured the two within a mile.

As a result of the auto accident, Fritts received multiple facial fractures and has been nursing black eyes.

During a multi-agency investigation involving Union County Sheriffs Deputy Butch Hulse and investigators for the Oregon State Police in La Grande and John Day, at least some of Fritts recent past has been determined.

A Union County grand jury met within hours of Fritts arrest and charged him with attempted aggravated murder, theft, and other charges.

Fritts decided to enter guilty pleas to the Union County charges and appeared before Circuit Court Judge Eric Valentine Thursday afternoon.

Sentenced under Measure 11 guidelines, Fritts received 120 months in prison, with each of the various sentences to be served concurrently. He was transported to the Oregon penitentiary this morning to expedite medical treatment.

Valentine asked Fritts why he had fled from the sheriff and then shot at him.

Id been drinking a lot. I dont know, sir, Fritts responded.

Union County District Attorney Russ West noted that Fritts actually wasnt highly intoxicated according to blood alcohol tests after he was taken into custody. He had tested with a BAC of .09.

Fritts also told the court he had a wife and 5-month-old child in Tennessee. He had escaped a jail there to see his family, but then met a girl, Ervin, and came to Oregon with her.

Fritts claims that Ervin is now pregnant and he wishes to divorce his wife and marry her while he is in prison.

Your life, sir, is not logical, the judge told Fritts. You are lucky that you received only 10 years.

Fritts could be facing more consequences of his actions when he has served his time in Oregon, West said.

His sentence does not include any time for outstanding charges or warrants from other states, West explained, which he will have to deal with later.