FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to serve two years in prison for stealing a state Division of Forestry truck in October and building a fire barrier while fleeing Alaska State Troopers on the Black Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Gerstle River.
Sean Douglas Coursey, 35, reached a plea agreement at a brief court hearing Monday afternoon. Under the deal, Coursey pleaded guilty to first-degree theft, first-degree failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer, second-degree burglary and driving under the influence.
In addition to two years of prison time in the new cases, he will have to serve six months of revoked jail time for violating probation conditions from a 2014 burglary and assault case.
At Monday’s hearing, Superior Court Judge Jane Kauvar warned Coursey that if he breaks other laws in the future, he will face less-favorable plea agreements.
“Mr. Coursey, back when you got the case in 2014 it was hopeful that we wouldn’t turn out to see you back (in court) again. You were given sort of a deal then too,” she said. “Keep in mind that each time you get a series of these (criminal charges) the ability to work out a deal becomes less and less.”
Coursey didn’t have any comment when he was given the opportunity to speak before the sentence was handed down.
According to the case against Coursey, he stole a state Division of Forestry truck pulling a trailer with a bulldozer in it on Oct. 30 in North Pole. A chase began on the Richardson Highway north of Delta Junction when an Alaska State Trooper spotted the truck. Troopers reported Coursey tried to ram a trooper car and threw objects out of his truck while driving away. At the Gerstle River southeast of Delta Junction, Coursey took items out of the truck and lit them on fire on the Black Veterans Memorial Bridge creating a barrier behind him, trooper said.
Coursey continued down the highway. Troopers from Tok who arrested him reported finding the truck wrecked, and both Coursey and the truck on fire.
The plea agreement didn’t include the amount of money Coursey will be ordered to pay the state in restitution. Prosecutors have asked for about $69,000. That figure includes Alaska Department of Transportation employee time that went into repairing Black Veterans Memorial Bridge. It hasn’t yet determined if the restitution can include the cost of state employee time.
Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/FDNMoutdoors.