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Bonds set for suspects in Byers manhunt; one out on bail

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By Matt Kelton

Pioneer Sentinel

One of the three suspects arrested following a police pursuit and manhunt Friday morning has been released on bail.

Ashley Allen, 22, of Wichita Falls, was released on a $5,000 bond Saturday, Dec. 17. She is charged with engaging in organized crime for the theft of a portable welder from a Byers residence shortly after midnight Friday.

Also arrested were Steven Ellis Allen, 42, and Juan Odum, 30, all of Wichita Falls.

Bonds for Steven Allen were set at $25,000 for theft over $1,500, under $20,000, and engaging in organized crime, and an additional $25,000 for felony evading arrest. Allen also faces parole violation.

Bonds for Odum were set at $25,000 for theft over $1,500, under $20,000 and engaging in organized crime, and $25,000 for aggravated assault of a peace officer. During the chase, Odum, who was riding in the bed of a pickup, threw a spare tire in the direction of the pursuing deputy’s car, said Sheriff Kenny Lemons.

Steven Allen and Odum remain in custody.

The incident began at about 2:30 a.m. Friday when a Clay County deputy was on routine patrol in Byers. The deputy stopped a pickup pulling a trailer with a portable welder. The trailer did not have lights. The welder was later reported stolen.

As the deputy approached the vehicle, the pickup sped away and a chase ensued. The deputy followed the pickup from FM 171 to Moffett Road, and onto private property, where the vehicle was stopped.

Odum was taken into custody, while Steven Allen, the driver of the pickup, and Ashley Allen, a passenger inside the pickup, escaped on foot.

At about 8 a.m., deputies responded to a suspicious persons call in Byers, where two people, covered in mud, where reported to be walking through a residential area of town.

Deputies, State Troopers and a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden were able to pinpoint the location of the suspects, as Byers residents relayed information through CCSO dispatchers.

At 9:21 a.m., Steven Allen and Ashley Allen were located and taken into custody.

Lemons said Ashley Allen is the daughter of Steven Ellis Allen. Odum is Ashley Allen’s boyfriend.

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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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