A 17-year-old La Vergne driver will be tried as an adult after being charged with 14 felony counts following a three-city chase last August.
Josh Sachtien, now 18, of Old Nashville Highway was charged with felony evading arrest, four counts of aggravated assault of police officers and nine counts of reckless endangerment.
La Vergne Police Officer Ty McGowan testified Sachtien struck patrol cars and drove through a crash scene, endangering the lives of Smyrna police and firefighters and county paramedics during the chase through La Vergne, Smyrna and Murfreesboro. McGowan also charged him with driving while impaired, possession of marijuana, evading arrest and driving without a license. Smyrna Police charged him with unrelated drug offenses.
After a one-hour hearing, Juvenile Court Judge Donna Scott Davenport ruled Sachtien should be tried as an adult.
During the hearing, McGowan testified he tried to stop Sachtien for speeding about 12:09 a.m. Aug. 11 on Murfreesboro Road in La Vergne.
“Sachtien tried to run a marked patrol unit off the road,” McGowan said.
During the pursuit, he crashed into patrol cruisers. One lane in Smyrna was blocked because of a crash with nine emergency employees working at the scene but the driver didn’t slow down or stop, the officer said.
Assistant District Attorney Leslie Collum played a short portion of videotape showing Sachtien crossing from median to shoulder and colliding with a patrol car.
Sachtien stopped after sheriff’s deputies tossed out spike strips that flattened two tires on his car. He ran from police but officers apprehended him.
He has been in rehabilitation and house arrest since then.
Sachtien testified he is trying to obtain his GED. He is working in custom auto painting and detail. He started using alcohol and drugs at age 12 to 13. He admitted he used drugs that night.
Collum asked Davenport to transfer the case to adult court based on Sachtien’s dangerous actions and past criminal record.
Defense attorney Joe Brandon said his client made progress and worked for almost one year without any problems.
Davenport said Sachtien had a prior serious offense and committed crimes against police officers and citizens during the pursuit.
“I’ve already done all I could for Josh in my court,” Davenport said.
Based on past experiences, Davenport said she will not place him in state custody until his 19th birthday because the state would probably release him before then. Drug dealers and juveniles who threatened judges were released early.
“I’m the watchdog of this court and these children,” Davenport said.
Grand jurors will consider probable indictments against Sachtien.