Leavenworth woman threw items at deputy from back of truck during series of chases

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Kansas City Crime Stoppers most wanted fugitives updated video updated Aug. 21, 2019.
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Kansas City Crime Stoppers most wanted fugitives updated video updated Aug. 21, 2019.

A 29-year-old Leavenworth woman was found guilty Tuesday of several charges stemming from three occasions when she tried to run from law enforcement, and in one instance threw objects at a patrol car from the back of a truck.

Shauntel M. Cornelius was convicted of interference with a law enforcement officer, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and possession of methamphetamine after pleading no contest, according to County Attorney Todd Thompson.

The prosecutor’s office first charged Cornelius in November 2017 after she ran into a home and hid from deputies who identified her as a suspect in a stolen car case.

Then in February 2018, Leavenworth police spotted Cornelius in traffic and tried to pull her over because she had warrants. She led police on a pursuit and escaped, Thompson said.

Authorities came across her again in July 2018 and she was arrested following another pursuit. It started when a Leavenworth County deputy tried to stop a GMC truck for an alleged traffic violation.

During the chase, the driver fired shots at the deputy, and the truck’s passenger, later identified as Cornelius, got into the bed of the truck and started throwing items, including vehicle parts, at the deputy’s patrol car, Thompson said. The truck eventually crashed.

As authorities searched the scene of the pursuit and wreck, they found a purse belonging to Cornelius and a plastic baggie containing methamphetamine.

The driver and Cornelius were apprehended by authorities the next day, and Thompson’s office filed assault and drug possession charges against Cornelius.

She is scheduled to be sentenced March 3.

“It is obvious law enforcement officers have a tough and thankless job,” Thompson said in a statement. “Not only do they have to patrol for crime and answer calls, but then they have people who will run, flee, and even try to harm them to avoid apprehension. They deserve our appreciation every day, because even after a bad day they get back up and start all over.”

Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.