Former NASCAR driver Tyler Walker is heading to prison for the three-state, 150-mph car chase in January 2013 he was involved in.
According to the St. George (Utah) Spectrum newspaper, 5th District Court Judge Eric A. Ludlow sentenced Walker to up to five years in the Utah State Prison on two third-degree felony counts, two terms of 180 days on two Class B misdemeanor counts and 90 days for a third-degree felony and Class C misdemeanor.
Ludlow then suspended all but 90 days of Walker’s term.
Ludlow also fined Walker $5,000 for the two third-degree felonies, a $1,000 fine for both Class B misdemeanors and $750 for the Class C misdemeanor.
The judge then suspended all but $1,665 that Walker must pay.
Once he’s released from prison, Walker – whose legal name is Timothy Tyler Andrew Walker – must serve 36 months of supervised probation, according to The Spectrum’s report. He’ll also have to undergo substance abuse testing while on probation.
Walker pled guilty to numerous charges in December, including third-degree felony failure to stop at the command of a police officer, third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, a class B misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia and a class C misdemeanor possession of an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.
Walker led police on a chase that reached speeds of 150 mph through Nevada and Arizona before his car was disabled by stop sticks in Utah.
“The court cannot overlook or condone the fact that you put many lives in danger with your selfish and reckless actions,” Ludlow said in his ruling. “Everyone that was on I-15 — fellow motorists, yourself, your passenger, law enforcement — was at risk that day, and the court’s concern is that you were clearly on something. No one in their right frame of mind does that.”
Walker, who lives in Hermosa Beach, Calif., has been held without bond in the Purgatory Correctional Facility in St. George since March 16 after arriving 45 minutes late to his original sentencing hearing. Ludlow issued a warrant for Walker’s arrest and he was taken into custody when he finally arrived at the courthouse.
“The last two weeks have given me a lot of alone time to write out a lot of goals for me without distractions,” Walker told the judge. “It has given me a clarity on my life and where I’d like for it to go. I can succeed, and I’m going to work my butt off to do everything that you ask of me. I will never be late or show any disrespect again, and I apologize for that as well.”
A subsequent drug test while he was in custody found amphetamine salts and marijuana in Walker’s system, although he has a prescription for both in California, Walker’s attorney, Trevor D. Terry, told The Spectrum.
“I don’t think Tyler is out of the woods yet as far as his substance abuse,” Terry added. “I think he’s doing better. He needs treatment and the supervision and structure that probation will provide.”
But, Terry added to The Spectrum, “Tyler’s in a better spot than he was two years ago. He was living a pretty lavish lifestyle at the time. That is not the case anymore, and I think it’s for his benefit.”
Terry also told The Spectrum that Walker now works for his family’s company and drives “an old, beat-up Prius.”
Walker still faces additional charges in Arizona from the 2013 chase.
Walker competed in 28 NASCAR races before being suspended from competition in 2007 by the sanctioning body after failing a drug test.