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Wanted man caught by police Tuesday facing three felony charges

A man apprehended Tuesday by the Nobles County Sheriff’s Officer after being sought since the weekend is now facing three felony charges.

Michael Layne Spath, 41, who is listed as homeless, is facing felony charges of possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of a controlled substance and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, Spath and another male were traveling in a Mercedes that exited the eastbound ramp at Minnesota 60 in Worthington at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. The Mercedes was observed by law enforcement to be traveling behind a semi-tractor trailer at an unsafe distance.

Law enforcement attempted to stop the vehicle, but its driver — who was later identified as Spath — instead continued east on Minnesota 60 at speeds that reached 120 mph. The vehicle then turned into Brewster and spun out when Spath tried to turn onto Seventh Avenue from 10th Street.

The chase kept going on county roads, and the vehicle crashed into a wooded area after about nine minutes of pursuit. Both the driver and passenger proceeded to flee on foot. A thermal imaging camera with done as well as a K-9 search were both utilized, but they were both unsuccessful, and the search was later called off because of a severe thunderstorm.

Officers allegedly found a handgun, two loaded handgun magazines for different guns, a debit card and a South Dakota driver’s license with Spath’s name inside the vehicle. Also discovered was a Ziploc baggie containing 17.53 grams of a substance that field-tested positive for methamphetamine. A search warrant was later obtained to further inspect the vehicle, resulting in the discovery of a black handgun holster, two magazines with bullets and another empty magazine.

On Saturday, the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert to the public to keep eyes out for Spath, who was been described in the alert as being in his 40s, 6-foot-3 inches tall, 260 pounds, and having a beard and a tattoo on his neck. On Tuesday, a report of a man with that description walking along Minnesota 60 was received, and county sheriff’s deputies found Spath in a ditch. A knife was found Spath at the time of his apprehension.

Spath has an August 2013 conviction of felony meth possession in Minnehaha County, South Dakota.

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