Defendant Laughed About Killing Officers
MINOT – It was time to pay for his actions and when the proceedings concluded Joshua Chambers, 19, Minot, racked up 75 years in prison sentences in front of North Central District Judge Richard Hagar Monday afternoon. Hagar tacked on slightly more than $71,000 dollars restitution, court fees, and three years' supervised probation upon release.
Chambers was charged with multiple felony counts following a gasoline drive off in McLean County and a high-speed pursuit that ended with the striking of several law enforcement vehicles in downtown Minot. While northbound at speeds of 90+ miles per hour on U.S. Highway 83 toward Minot, Chambers attempted to run over a sheriff’s deputy who had deployed spike strips on the roadway. The deputy fired two gunshots at the vehicle while narrowly escaping being run over.
That action resulted in the most serious charge against Chambers, AA felony Attempted Murder, for which he received the maximum allowed 20-year prison sentence. Some of the remaining charges against Chambers are to run concurrently with his 20-year prison sentence with an additional 10 years to be added on if he should violate terms of his release following conclusion of his initial sentence.
Chambers has been in the Ward County jail since his apprehension in late February 2023, while his case worked its way through the court system. He will receive 353 days credit against his 20 year sentence for which he must serve a minimum of 85%, or 17 years.
During Monday’s sentencing Chamber’s attorney, Steven Mottinger, asked the court for a 20-year sentence, serve 15. Mottinger told the court that Chambers was a relatively young man, immature, and was “clearly not thinking about consequences.” He added that Chambers was “extremely remorseful and fearful of going to prison.”
In noting Chambers’ use of controlled substances, Mottinger told the court that was “no excuse but should be taken into consideration,” adding, “nobody got killed. It could have been much, much worse. He needs to see some light at the end of the tunnel.”
State’s Attorney Roza Larson countered by playing a recorded telephone conversation Chambers made while in jail. The defendant could be heard laughing about his attempt to “kill a cop.”
Larson told Hagar that Chambers “has not had a law-abiding life” and that “his criminal history speaks for itself. He deserves the 20 years the State is asking for.”
Hagar then asked Chambers if he had anything to say before he passed sentence. Chambers responded, “I wasn’t in the right state of mind. I need a break here. 15 years is a lot, you know.”
“You did put a lot of people in danger. You are very fortunate no one actually died,” replied Hagar. “This sentence makes a statement to the public. The court is going to go with the State’s recommendation.”