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Couple, allegedly high on meth, lead Stone County officer on chase with speeds reaching 100 mph

A Fifty-Six, Ark. man, allegedly high on methamphetamine, led a Stone County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant on a high-speed chase over the weekend, according to authorities.

On Saturday, March 5, Lt. Zach Alexander of the Stone County Sheriff’s Department noticed a couple in a vehicle driving left of center on Hwy. 14. When he tried to pull the vehicle over, the driver sped up and the chase was on.

In the court records, Alexander said the vehicle sped up to 80 mph, westbound on 14, at times on curves crossing over into the oncoming traffic lane, even running one motorist off the side of the highway. Alexander said he recognized the driver as 42-year-old Tim Ezra Balentine from Fifty-Six, Ark.

The lieutenant said the speeds increased to 100 mph as Balentine turned off Hwy. 14 onto to Gaylor Road. Balentine’s vehicle couldn’t negotiate a curve, and he lost control of his vehicle, crashing into an embankment. Alexander said Balentine jumped from the vehicle and ran into the woods. The passenger, identified as 18-year-old Mikayla Jade Pearson, was taken into custody by Alexander.

After being given her Miranda rights, the court information said Pearson told Alexander that she and Balentine had shot up methamphetamine before the pursuit started.  She said she tried to get Balentine to stop fleeing, but he wouldn’t.

Using search dogs from the Arkansas Department of Corrections, officers found Balentine about 90 minutes later, hiding under some brush, according to court documents.

Balentine is charged with:  possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and fleeing in a vehicle — all felonies.

Pearson is charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia with the purpose to use methamphetamine. Balentine’s bond was set at $20,000 and Pearson’s bond at $5,000.

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