Suspect in Police Chase Has Long Police Record

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Knoxville (WVLT) - We're learning more about the man who lead sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase in the middle of rush hour Monday.

Forty-year old Robert Craig Winton is in jail on $20,000 bond, facing numerous charges, including evading arrest, reckless endangerment and theft.

Volunteer TV’s Kim Bedford examines Winton's extensive criminal background and why he's been in and out of jail so many times.

We found nine pages of Winton's criminal record, dating back more than 25 years.

So how has Winton gotten out of jail so many times, and according to court documents, continued to commit more crime?

"His inability to stop when the blue lights go on, regardless of the reason, is a problem,” says Winton’s attorney Bruce Poston.

Knox County deputies say Robert Winton started his run from Anderson County deputies Monday on Raccoon Valley Road. The pursuit continued to Clinton Highway where Knox County Sheriff's Deputies took over.

Our eye in the sky Pete Michaels followed Winton through Downtown Knoxville to I-640.

The high-speed chase ended at the Wal-Mart on Millertown Pike.

"He doesn't, I guess, react the same as most of us when the blue lights come on behind and pull over,” says Poston.
Winton's attorney, Bruce Poston, says this certainly isn't the 40-year-old's first run from the law.

"A lot of evading, in other words, when the police get behind him, he runs,” Poston says.

And that's not all we found in Winton's nine pages of offenses.

"Felony evading, reckless driving, thefts, thefts of misdemeanors, aggravated assaults, and the ag assaults tend to be related to cars,” Poston says.

Poston says so far Winton's been able to bond out of jail every time, only to commit more crime. "I think the last time he might have spent three or four months in jail waiting to get the bond low enough."

"The law is absolutely crystal clear that if you're charged with an offense, you're entitled to a bond, pending the resolution to that matter,” explains Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner.

The problem is, Winton has had several cases pending while he's been on the run.

"There is a price to pay, eventually, if you get out on bond and keep picking up new charges,” says Poston.

That price now is consecutive sentencing to jail, for quite some time with a record like Winton's.

"The court will double each bond, at least. He is probably looking at six figures, in terms of total bonds,” Poston says.

Poston says because of Winton’s record, he could spend more time in jail than someone charged with murder.

Poston says the DA is expected to file a motion to revoke all of his bonds.

Winton will appear in court for his preliminary hearing on July 26th.



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