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Xenia man sentenced in Highland County Common Pleas Court for 4-county police chase

Caitlin Forsha, The Highland County Press

A Xenia man alleged to have evaded law enforcement for nearly an hour and a half during a four-county, 91-mile chase was sentenced recently to two years in prison in Highland County Common Pleas Court.

As previously reported, Mark David Younker, 28, was indicted by a Highland County grand jury in October. Charges in the indictment included failure to comply with the order or signal of a police officer, a third-degree felony; receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony; unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, a fifth-degree felony; and a forfeiture specification. All of the events were alleged to have occurred “in Highland County and as a continuing course of criminal conduct in Ross County, Brown County and Clermont County.”

Younker pleaded guilty to the failure to comply charge and the forfeiture specification Nov. 21. The remaining charges were dismissed.

According to a bill of particulars, on or about Aug. 25, a patrolman in Greenfield attempted to make a traffic stop on Younker’s vehicle, which allegedly had “an obscured license plate and no license plate light.” Younker began driving at “speeds in excess of 90 mph” through the village of Greenfield, including “driving in the opposite lane of travel at times,” to flee the patrolman.

Younker continued to drive out of Highland County and into Ross County, where Chillicothe Police officers joined the pursuit. During that part of the chase, it is alleged that Younker “continued at a high rate of speed while running red lights, driving around other vehicles and driving in the wrong lane of travel in Chillicothe.” He also allegedly drove through grass in front of a Chillicothe business before reentering the roadway, then continued “driving over the solid yellow line and driving past all traffic lights” on U.S. 50 West, the bill of particulars alleges.

From there, Younker continued through Bainbridge, where he allegedly also “ran through all of the traffic lights and through a construction zone,” and Rainsboro, entering Highland County again, where the Highland County Sheriff’s Office also joined the pursuit. Younker drove through spike strips set up by the HCSO on U.S. 50, which “caused the left front tire of the vehicle to go flat,” but he allegedly continued to drive through Hillsboro, again ignoring traffic lights.

As he continued along U.S. 50, Younker then entered Brown County, as the “front left tire came completely off the vehicle” along the way. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office then joined the pursuit, setting up more spike strips near Fayetteville, which “caused the back left tire and front right tire to go flat.”

However, Younker allegedly continued traveling west on U.S. 50 into a fourth county, as he drove through Owensville in Clermont County. It was in Clermont County that state troopers were finally able to “box the vehicle in” and force him to stop.

According to the bill of particulars, it is alleged that “Younker ran approximately 11 red lights and one stop sign” during the chase, and “the pursuit lasted approximately one hour and 23 minutes and covered 91 miles.”

Subject to forfeiture was a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun found in the back seat of the truck.

According to court records, Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss sentenced Younker Nov. 21 to a definite determinate term of 24 months in prison, with jail time credit of 82 days. Younker’s driver’s license will be suspended for three years.