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Remember that incident last July where Sheriff's deputies were after a stolen car, and the chase ended at the Lake Chelan Rodeo Grounds, where a barn exploded and injured not only deputies, but the man they were after? Well, that man is now looking at five years in prison. 18-year-old Conner Leo Strange pleaded guilty Wednesday in Chelan County Superior Court to first-degree arson, and two counts of second-degree assault.

As part of a plea agreement, the Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney's Office agreed to recommend an exceptionally low sentence of 60 months in prison due to Strange's youth.

It all started Sunday July 17, when Deputy William Tuengel responded to a vehicle theft call that occurred the previous night in Chelan. A couple of hours later, the owner said that she had located her stolen vehicle.

Deputy Cyrus Bowthorpe located the vehicle traveling on Cagle Gulch Road with a passenger. The driver, who was later identified as Strange, made a U-turn going back towards the Lake Chelan Rodeo ground. Tuengel arrived in the area and attempted a traffic stop. Strange attempted to flee on foot while the passenger complied with law enforcement.

Tuengel and Bowthorpe chased Strange into a barn on the northwest corner of the rodeo grounds. They cut a padlock to open the barn door when an explosion occurred. The deputies suffered concussions; Strange sustained a significant burn on his right foot and was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Deputies said they believe Strange used a lighter to ignite gasoline, which created a backdraft.

Strange was initially charged with first-degree assault, first-degree arson, second-degree malicious damage to property by explosion, theft of a firearm, possession of a stolen vehicle and second-degree theft. Charges were amended Feb. 10.

On top of the five year sentence, Strange would also serve 18 months of probation. A sentencing hearing is schedule for March 15.

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