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August 11, 2023

Man Found Guilty in St. Tammany – Simple Traffic Stop Turned Into High-Speed Chase and Much More

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Wednesday (August 9, 2023) a St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Timothy Spicer, age 58 and of Mandeville, guilty as charged of aggravated obstruction of a highway, aggravated flight from an officer and aggravated criminal damage to property. District Judge William Burris presided over the trial.

Shortly after midnight on June 9, 2022, a St. Tammany Parish police officer, was patrolling the area of Highway 190 in Lacombe, Louisiana when he observed a white Jeep sport utility vehicle with no functioning license plate lights. The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop by engaging his lights. A second officer joined the effort to stop the vehicle, with both units activating their lights and siren. The driver of the SUV, later identified as Spicer, did not stop and instead accelerated. One of the officers overtook the defendant’s vehicle to alert oncoming traffic of the fleeing vehicle. A third officer, in a fully marked unit, with lights and sirens engaged, joined the chase. Spicer escalated his speed up to 95 miles per hour and began weaving from his lane of travel into the opposite lane and onto the gravel shoulder. An oncoming vehicle had to swerve off the roadway to avoid a head-on collision.

Spicer repeatedly entered the oncoming lane of travel, putting his life and the lives of others in danger. The chase continued onto the Bayou Castine bridge in Mandeville, where Spicer intentionally collided with one of the police units, resulting in his Jeep being disabled. Spicer’s driver-side door was wedged against the railing of the bridge so he climbed out through the window. Officers engaged Spicer with loud verbal commands and weapons drawn. Instead of surrendering, Spicer did a back flip into the bayou below and swam away. A canine unit was summoned to the scene to assist the officers in their search for the defendant but Spicer could not be found.

Officers were able to identify Spicer from a cell phone and wallet he left in the vehicle. The cell phone showed Spicer’s image on the screen and the wallet contained his identification. Within twenty-four hours, Spicer was located walking down a street, still soaking wet. He was taken into custody and transported to the parish jail.

During this week’s trial, the State presented testimony from the involved officers along with video footage from their body-worn cameras, which showed the entire pursuit, including Spicer climbing from his vehicle and back-flipping into the bayou below. The defense presented no evidence or testimony.

At the conclusion of the trial, counsel for Spicer told the jury that his client was fearful and didn’t know it was the police pursuing him. In his closing argument to the jury, Assistant District Attorney Fred Treschwig presented the jury a blank PowerPoint slide and said “the defense has shown you nothing. At the end of the day, he’s trying to sell you something he didn’t show you – don’t buy it.” In his closing remarks, Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover asked the jury, “Was the fear reasonable enough to toss out the law?” “The defendant isn’t a monster, but a man who made a series of bad decisions. That no one was seriously injured during this high-speed chase is nothing short of a miracle. He must be held accountable.”

Spicer will be sentenced on August 21, 2023. The defendant has multiple prior felony convictions, including armed robbery, burglary, and theft; he had been released on parole only three months prior to this incident.

Assistant District Attorneys Iain Dover and Fred Treschwig prosecuted the case. Lieutenant Lindsley "Scott" Crain, Sergeant Curtis Finn and Deputy Terry Poynter, all with the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office, were the officers involved in the pursuit and Deputy Casey Riley located and arrested the defendant.

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