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Trunk-lurker sentenced to probation

Jonathan Payton

Rochester man convicted of stalking woman, leading law enforcement on a chase.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2018 2:53 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A man caught hiding in the trunk of a woman’s car has been sentenced.

The Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office says a woman was driving in Byron on July 27, 2017 when she heard strange noises coming from her trunk. She stopped and opened it and found Jonathan Payton of Rochester inside. The woman contacted law enforcement and when deputies arrived Payton drove off in the woman’s car. Deputies say that led to a chase that hit 85 miles per hour. Payton escaped when authorities ended their pursuit.

He was arrested three days later and charged with stalking, theft of a motor vehicle, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, reckless driving, and failure to drive with due care. Payton eventually pleaded guilty to stalking and fleeing a peace officer. The rest of the charges were dismissed.

On Tuesday, Payton was ordered to spend five years on supervised probation. He must also do 100 hours of community work service or pay a $1,000 fine.

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