By RALPH BARTHOLDT
COEUR d'ALENE — A 26-year-old Post Falls man who led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen Jeep a year ago before his arrest on Canfield Mountain was placed on probation after successfully completing a prison rider program.
Cody Brent Hall, who was accused in a string of vehicle thefts and car burglaries, was sentenced in November in Coeur d’Alene to a year in prison on a burglary conviction, two years in prison for eluding police, a year in prison for ringing up charges on a stolen credit card, and up to 14 months for grand theft.
First District Judge John T. Mitchell retained jurisdiction, allowing Hall to attend a six-month prison rehabilitation program, with a caveat.
Do well, or do your time, the judge told Hall.
"If I send you to prison you would be looking at four years fixed and 22 years indeterminate," Mitchell said. "You want to do well on this rider."
Hall, who told the court he was homeless after returning from a job in North Dakota, and "clouded with drugs," was charged May 2016 in connection with a variety of vehicle thefts. He allegedly stole a three-wheeler in Post Falls that he ditched before stealing a Chevy Silverado pickup truck and a Visa card.
He was reportedly seen on surveillance cameras buying pizza at a Post Falls gas station and filling the truck’s tank with gas. He was again seen on a surveillance camera at a Hauser Lake gas station using the same credit card.
Around the same time, he was charged in several car burglaries near Fowler Road in Rathdrum, where he stole a Jeep Cherokee he drove recklessly south on Highway 95 towing a utility trailer. He was pursued by police, who gave up the chase because it endangered morning commuters, according to a police report.
Police picked up the chase in Dalton Gardens, where Hall drove the Jeep to a dead-end road at Canfield Mountain. As officers chased him on foot, Hall ran through several residential yards before scampering uphill. Wearing a hat with a marijuana leaf emblem, a shirt he told officers was from Bangladesh, and sporting a shaved head with a shoulder-length mullet, Hall was apprehended with the help of a police K9. He told officers they had arrested the wrong man, and that he was innocently on the mountain hunting for shed antlers.
Prosecutors last week recommended probation for Hall because he had performed well on the rider program.
In addition to the usual terms of probation, Mitchell ordered 100 hours community service for Hall, who had only one question.
While on probation, Hall asked, "You aren’t allowed to drink energy drinks. Is that true?"
"That isn’t one of the conditions I’m imposing," Mitchell replied.