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Clearwater man charged with battery, violating probation after release from prison

CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man who served nearly 12 years in prison after he shot a woman and fled from police in a high-speed chase was arrested Sunday night on charges of domestic battery and violation of probation.

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies arrested Christopher B. Sanders, 39, at his home on Hart Street in Clearwater.

According to Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Thomas Nestor, Sanders was at the Oldsmar home of his girlfriend, when the couple got into an argument and she walked out of their bedroom. Sanders followed her, grabbed her by the arm and tried to pull her back into the room. Sanders ultimately released her and left the house, heading for his home in Clearwater.

The woman's 14-year-old daughter witnessed the fight and called authorities.

Clearwater police and Pinellas deputies arrived at Sanders' residence and arrested him on a charge of domestic battery.

Sanders was also charged with violation of probation on a prior felony conviction for first-degree attempted murder.

In 1996, Sanders was sentenced to 15 years in prison and five years' probation in the 1995 shooting of his then-girlfriend, Beth Williams. She was shot in the head and chest several times with a stolen 9mm pistol, police said.

As police vehicles approached, he put the woman in the backseat of a stolen Thunderbird and sped away, initiating a high-speed chase through major thoroughfares in Clearwater and ramming cars out of his way. Police eventually used a makeshift barricade to force him to stop.

Sanders pleaded guilty to attempted murder, aggravated assault, kidnapping, armed burglary, fleeing and eluding and two counts of grand theft. He was released from prison in August 2008.

Sanders is being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.

Martine Powers can be reached at mpowers@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4224.

Clearwater man charged with battery, violating probation after release from prison 06/08/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 8, 2010 7:47pm]
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