A felon who triggered a police chase from Desert Hot Springs to Indio, during which he reportedly pointed a handgun at two California Highway Patrol officers, pleaded guilty Friday to five felonies stemming from the April 2017 chase, but attempted murder and assault charges were dismissed.
Michael Anthony Marquez, 31, was immediately sentenced to 11 years and four months in state prison.
The April 26 pursuit began when Desert Hot Springs police spotted him behind the wheel of a stolen Chevrolet Silverado. After the truck sped out of the city limits, CHP officers, a CHP helicopter and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies joined the chase, according to CHP Officer Ramon Perez.
Marquez tossed a handgun from the truck at the parking lot of Stater Bros. at 78210 Varner Road in Palm Desert, but not before pointing it at two officers during the pursuit, prosecutors alleged.
He then continued driving eastbound along Varner Road where it becomes Avenue 42 in Indio. Where Avenue 42 ends at Golf Center Parkway, he leapt from the Silverado while it was still moving and was arrested shortly afterward, Perez said.
Marquez, who has prior convictions for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, was charged last spring with two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon involving the CHP officers, but those counts were dismissed as part of the plea deal, in which he admitted evading arrest, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property.