Eastern Oregon law enforcement agencies arrested a man wanted for murder in Idaho Saturday evening on Highway 20 east of Burns.
Following a high-speed chase, John David Wurdemann, 46, Twin Falls, Idaho, was taken into custody and lodged in the Malheur County Jail on two national felony warrants — one for homicide in Canyon County, Idaho, and the other for unlawful possession of a firearm — and charges of attempt to elude, felon in possession of a firearm, reckless driving and recklessly endangering another, according to a press release from the Oregon State Police.
A passenger in the vehicle, Stormy Raine Allen, 22, Twin Falls, was also taken into custody, charged with attempt to elude, felon in possession of a firearm, hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence, offensive littering and interfering with a police officer.
The incident began the evening of Feb. 4, when OSP was advised of an individual who had warrants for his arrest, who was known to have violent tendencies and to abuse drugs, was possibly traveling on Highway 20 between Burns and Ontario. With the assistance of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and an agent from the Bureau of Land Management, OSP attempted to locate the blue Ford F150 pickup that the subject was reported to be driving.
At approximately 8:45 p.m., a vehicle matching the description was located near milepost 163, parked off the shoulder of the roadway. As law enforcement pulled in behind the vehicle, the vehicle accelerated and fled eastbound, according to the release.
As the vehicle fled, its speeds ranged from 50-100 mph, and the operator was driving recklessly, oftentimes traveling into the oncoming lanes of travel and into the path of oncoming vehicles. Numerous items, including a loaded firearm were thrown from the vehicle as it eluded. Those items were recovered by the Harney County Sheriff’s Office. The Malheur County Sheriff’s Office successfully deployed spike strips at milepost 216 and flattened the two driver’s side tires. The vehicle slowed and at milepost 218, veered off the right shoulder of the roadway and into a snowdrift.
Both occupants were taken into custody without incident. The vehicle was towed to the OSP office in Ontario where it was secured. The investigation is ongoing.
Both lanes of US 20 at milepost 218 were blocked for about 15 minutes while the two subjects were being taken into custody and the scene rendered safe.