By Shereen Siewert
A 28-year-old Rothschild man who led police on a high speed chase through the south metro area and threatened to kill a former girlfriend will serve three years of probation as part a plea deal with prosecutors.
Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered a withheld sentence for Matthew J. Clawson, who was convicted of fleeing an officer, criminal damage to property and bail jumping in connection with the May 27 incident. A withheld sentence means Clawson is placed on probation and no prison sentence is assessed. If Clawson’s probation is revoked, he would then face the maximum penalty of the original charges in the conviction.
The sentence was handed down this week following a presentencing investigation.
According to the criminal complaint:
Everest Metro Police were called at May 27 to a home in the village of Weston, where a woman reported that Clawson had broken into her apartment while she was asleep. The woman told police Clawson, who was armed with a knife, slashed her tires and threatened to shoot her. The woman believed Clawson was headed to his Rothschild home to arm himself with a shotgun.
Rothschild police located Clawson in his vehicle near his Military Road home and tried to pull him over. Clawson refused to stop, driving down Weston Avenue at speeds of between 50 and 60 mph before turning onto Hwy. X and eventually Hwy. 29, where he was driving at speeds of between 110 and 120 mph, according to the police report. Police from three agencies chased Clawson until he exited the highway and was eventually stopped on Brehm Street in Weston, near the woman’s residence.
Clawson was arrested after a brief standoff. A loaded shotgun was in the vehicle.
Court records show Clawson has a prior record of minor criminal convictions dating back to 2010 and was once the subject of a domestic abuse restraining order, in 2014.