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Cops: Sister in manhunt said she 'deserved to get shot'

A woman caught with her two brothers after a nationwide manhunt told Colorado authorities she "deserved to get shot," according to an arrest affidavit.
/ Source: msnbc.com news services

A woman caught with her two brothers after a nationwide manhunt told Colorado authorities she "deserved to get shot," according to an arrest affidavit.

Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, are being held in Pueblo County, Colo., on bonds of $1.25 million each. The three made their first court appearance Thursday in Pueblo, Colo., appearing by video from jail.

They face charges of attempted murder of a peace officer and assault on a peace officer. The charges stem from allegations that they shot at authorities in Colorado.

Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg by James Chamblerlain, the police chief in Walsenburg, Colo., after she pointed a machine gun at him, according to the affidavit. The document says she later told police, "I deserved to get shot."

Their mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., spoke briefly Thursday to The Associated Press but declined to discuss their ordeal, saying she didn't think it would help them in the long run.

"Thank God they're not tried by the media," she said. "They're tried in a court of law and their story will come out at that time."

Bell hung up the phone shortly after a reporter called, saying she needed to keep the line open for concerned family members to reach her.

"I'm devastated and I'm trying to be strong for other family members," Bell said. "Throughout all of this, I think everybody just wanted it to stop. And now it's over."

The siblings also have no-bond warrants in Georgia and Florida on charges they robbed a bank in Georgia and shot at a police officer in Florida.

"At first it was like, 'Wow, you know, they're shooting at me. And then it turned to I just want to catch them before they hurt anybody," said Zephyrhills, Fla., police officer Kevin Widner said of the confrontation.

This combo made from photos provided Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2011 by the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office shows, from left, Ryan Edward Dougherty, 21, Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Lee Grace Dougherty, 29. An FBI manhunt for the heavily armed siblings accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida and robbing a Georgia bank ended Wednesday with a police chase in Colorado, where shots were fired at officers before the suspects' car rolled and crashed into a guard rail. (AP Photo/Pueblo County Sheriff's Office)Pueblo County Sheriff's Office

After images of the trio were broadcast on television, someone tipped Colorado state troopers and the Pueblo County sheriff around 9 a.m. Wednesday that the suspects might be at a campground south of Colorado Springs, Colo.

A Pueblo County sheriff's detective spotted the car near an interstate highway that day, followed it discreetly until state troopers joined him, and the chase was on.

Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg after she pointed a gun at a police officer near the car, authorities said, adding that she was trying to escape on foot. Another one of the suspects was apprehended after a brief foot chase.

Three highway workers reportedly helped track and capture that sibling. Dave Dallaguardia told ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday that he followed Ryan Dougherty in his truck even after the fugitive had motioned at him as if he had a gun.

Dallaguardia said he had no idea he was chasing one of the Dougherty siblings and his wife later scolded him for pursuing him. He said he and his co-workers came from small, blue-collar towns.

"If you need to lend a hand, you lend a hand and help people out," Dallaguardia said.

FBI agent Jim Yacone told NBC's TODAY show that the eight-day search was a "terrific collaboration between agencies," but that Colorado residents played an integral role in the investigation.

The tight-knit — and normally tight-lipped — towns near the rugged San Isabel National Forest in southern Colorado seemed unsurprised about the brief but intense nationwide search for two brothers and a sister accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida and robbing a bank in Georgia.

"It's kind of backwoods around here, plenty of places to hide," said Becky Garcia, a waitress and bartender at Viktorio's Pizzeria in Colorado City. "What I can't believe it that they were dumb enough to get on the interstate. They could have made it. Then they went and got on the interstate. How stupid."

The siblings reportedly bought camping gear and were hiding out in the nearby national forest.



They didn't stand out to some. Jaimie Clark, 18, an employee at the Colorado City gas station where the siblings were spotted before their arrest on Wednesday, said her co-worker who was working the cash register at the time didn't recognize the trio as fugitives, and they didn't strike her as suspicious.

"They just came in, grabbed a few snacks, got gas and left," Clark said. "She couldn't even recall what they got because they just came in like regular customers."

Clark said given what the siblings were accused of in other states, she and her co-workers are relieved that nothing happened at the gas station.

"The fact that they came in here peacefully, we're extremely thankful for," she said.

Their notoriety didn't go unnoticed by everyone after their images were splashed across television reports. Someone tipped Colorado state troopers and the sheriff's office at about 9 a.m. Wednesday that the suspects might be at a campground south of Colorado Springs.

A Pueblo County sheriff's detective spotted the car near an interstate highway Wednesday, followed it discreetly until state troopers joined him, and the chase was on.

AK-47 rounds were fired at the four patrol cars during the pursuit south on the interstate, where speeds exceeded 100 mph, said Lt. Col. Anthony Padilla of the Colorado State Patrol.

In this photo provided by the Colorado State Patrol, authorities investigate the scene where three fugitive siblings wanted in a crime spree in Florida and Georgia were captured Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, along Interstate 25 in Walsenburg, Colo., after firing shots at officers during a high-speed chase and crashing their car into a highway barrier, authorities said. (AP Photo/Colorado State Patrol)Colorado State Patrol



In Walsenburg, troopers deployed spiked stop strips across the interstate. A tire was punctured on the Subaru, sending it rolling and crashing into a guardrail.

Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg after she pointed a gun at a police officer near the car, authorities said, adding that she was trying to escape on foot. Another one of the suspects was apprehended after a brief foot chase.

The three suspects were treated at a Walsenburg hospital — Lee Dougherty for the gunshot wound and her brothers for injuries suffered in the crash — and were later transferred to Pueblo County Jail. They face four charges each of first-degree assault on a peace officer. They also have no-bond warrants in Georgia and Florida.

"These three have a big legal mess in front of them and at some point they'll face charges in all those jurisdictions," FBI Special Agent Phil Niedringhaus said.

No one could say why the three ended up in Colorado, though Niedringhaus offered his own idea.

"They were here because they were running," he said.

Other fugitives have chosen the Rocky Mountain wilderness for a hideout. Last month, police nabbed a convicted murderer from Florida, 60-year-old Mark Barrett, who was discovered living in a remote cabin in Montrose, Colo., after more than three decades on the run.

And last summer, a prison escapee from Arizona was captured in rural Rifle, Colo.

A Rocky Mountain escape made sense to a handful of locals gathered for pizza and beer at Viktorio's after the chase. Asked why they thought the fugitives fled here, some just pointed toward snowcapped peaks just to the west.

"It's as good a place as any to disappear, I guess," Garcia said.