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Man pled guilty and sentenced for charges resulting from fleeing in a painted stolen truck pulling a trailer

Still image from video showing a reportedly stolen vehicle fleeing from law enforcement (May 12, 2022). Video: courtesy of Nick Monaghan

KENDALL, Wash. — A man facing charges in Whatcom County Superior Court for 2nd-degree taking a vehicle without permission, attempting to elude a police vehicle, hit and run of an attended vehicle and 1st-degree criminal impersonation has pled quilty to the felony charge of taking a stolen vehicle and the gross misdemeanor charge of hit and run this week and the remaining 2 charges were dropped.

Kellems was sentenced to 22 months in custody for the felony charge and 30 days for the gross misdemeanor, to be served concurrently and with credit for time served. A felony charge of possession of controlled substances by a corrections prisoner on a separate case was also dismissed.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) reportedly followed the stolen pickup pulling a travel trailer for over 10 miles while observing the stolen vehicle swerve past 2 tire spike strips and recklessly swerving in the oncoming lane of travel while vehicles were approaching. The driver, identified as William Bartholomew Kellems, age 28 and from Tacoma, was arrested after driving into a fenced school bus garage lot off of Deming Road and attempting to flee on foot. He initially gave arresting officers a false name.

The pickup had been spray-painted black with red handprints. It was noted Kellems had red and black paint on his clothing at the time of his arrest according to the Washington State Patrol.

The day after being arrested, Keller was found to be in possession of pills believed to contain Fentanyl during a search in Whatcom County Jail. This led to the drug possession charge in the separate case.

Kellems has prior felony convictions for 3rd degree assault of law enforcement officer and taking a vehicle without permission in 2015 out of Yakima County Superior Court and attempting to elude a police vehicle out of Kittitas County Superior Court in 2014.

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