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Red Wing murder suspect led Wis. deputy on 120-mph chase, charges say

Charles Deonta Jones

The man charged in a Goodhue County slaying was arrested at gunpoint in Pierce County early Tuesday after leading deputies there on a high-speed pursuit that ended when he bailed out of the car after it crashed, according to court documents filed in Wisconsin.

The suspect, identified by authorities as 26-year-old Charles Deonta Jones, got out of the wreck with a gun in his hand and ran off toward a wooded area before giving himself up, a criminal complaint states.

The Red Wing man was charged Thursday in Pierce County with felony attempting to flee or elude an officer. The Wisconsin charge came the same day as Goodhue County prosecutors charged Jones with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of Dangelo Masterjohn, who was found shot to death early Tuesday in Red Wing.

According to the Pierce County complaint:

A deputy on patrol just after midnight April 18 in Hager City watched a silver Audi run a stop sign at highways 63 and 35, prompting the officer to follow the vehicle. The car continued north on Highway 63, with speeds reaching 120 mph.

The deputy requested Ellsworth police to place road spikes ahead of the pursuit at Highway 10. The Audi braked hard as the pursuit reached 490th Avenue, where the car turned east. The suspect’s car lost control after turning north on 750th Street, where it crashed.

“I observed there to be an extremely large amount of smoke coming from the vehicle and also noticed a few flames coming from underneath the vehicle,” deputy Mitch Rhiel wrote in his report.

The driver, later identified as Jones, got out of the car with a pistol in his right hand and a T-shirt in his left. He fled toward a tree line after being ordered at gunpoint by Rhiel to drop the gun. An 18-year-old woman in the Audi was placed in a squad car before Rhiel went back out to look for the driver.

After calling out for the man, Rhiel heard a loud splash following by a statement that the man was giving up. He was then patted down and cuffed.

A Pierce County K-9 team found a loaded 9mm handgun just inside the woodline, along with a T-shirt that appeared to have a bullet hole in it. A closer inspection of the shirt revealed possible blood near entry and exit holes in it.

While on scene, deputies learned that Red Wing police were investigating an apparent shooting death there.

Deputies interviewed the 18-year-old passenger, who said she didn’t know the driver. She said she’d been in the passenger seat while the car was in Red Wing. The driver had just “jumped in,” before the pursuit in Pierce County, she told officers.

She later admitted to being with Masterjohn and others earlier that night.

“She paused and replied back, ‘I may have done some bad things in my life, but I did not kill anybody,’” the woman told deputies, which prompted Rhiel to tell her that wasn’t what he had asked her — a statement that prompted the woman to retract her claim about being around Masterjohn that night.

Deputies in search of another gun possibly involved in the incident searched the Highway 63 area the next morning, where a black handgun was found near Dick’s Auto.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072
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