Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Member of rampaging Dougherty gang sentenced in Pasco

Ryan Edward Dougherty, left, pleaded guilty Friday to attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, the event that set off his cross-country crime spree with brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley and sister Lee-Grace Dougherty. Dylan and Lee Grace are serving prison sentences in other states. Ryan, who is also serving time on a federal prison sentence, was sentenced to 40 years in Florida.

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office

Ryan Edward Dougherty, left, pleaded guilty Friday to attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, the event that set off his cross-country crime spree with brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley and sister Lee-Grace Dougherty. Dylan and Lee Grace are serving prison sentences in other states. Ryan, who is also serving time on a federal prison sentence, was sentenced to 40 years in Florida.

DADE CITY — On Friday morning, three years later, Ryan Dougherty apologized for spraying a pursuing police car with bullets.

It was the first stop on Dougherty's and his siblings' cross-country crime rampage and quick rise to infamy in 2011, when he and sister Lee Grace and brother Dylan were labeled "the Dougherty gang."

The rampage started as an escape plan to Mexico when Ryan violated his probation for "sexting" an 11-year-old girl.

At 7 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2011, Kevin Widener, a former Zephyrhills police officer and current Pasco sheriff's deputy, noticed the trio's white Subaru sedan going about 15 miles over the speed limit on U.S. 301. He turned on his emergency lights and followed the car. When the 100 mph chase ended about 4 miles later, authorities recovered 20 shell casings from the road and Widener's patrol car.

One of the shots blew Widener's tire and he had to stop. The Doughertys blazed out of the county, headed north.

The next anyone heard, they were in Georgia, where they put on masks and robbed a Valdosta bank. One of them fired an AK-47 into the ceiling before the group escaped with about $5,200.

The rampage ended eight days after it began, with a high-speed chase and shootout with police near Pueblo, Colo. The three were arrested on a slew of charges.

Since then, their cases have been winding through courts, local and federal, as far as their crimes took them.

They pleaded guilty in Colorado to charges there. Ryan was sentenced to 18 years in prison, Lee Grace got 24 years and Dylan got 32 years.

In 2012, they were sentenced by Senior Judge Hugh Lawson in Valdosta, Ga., to 35 years each for the bank robbery.

The siblings were scattered to prisons across the country. Ryan, now 24, was placed in Tucson, Ariz. Dylan ended up in Estill, S.C., north of Savannah, Ga. And Lee Grace is being held in a satellite for female prisoners at Hazelton prison in Bruceton Mills, W.Va.

Local prosecutors have worked to complete the paperwork necessary to have the trio brought back to Pasco so justice can be served here, which is why Ryan was in court Friday morning. He spent just 10 minutes in the courtroom, escorted in and out by armed deputies. He declined a request to be interviewed by a reporter at the Pasco County jail.

He pleaded guilty to attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and was sentenced to 40 years. He was also sentenced to five years for grand theft auto, another five for failing to respond to an address verification as a sex offender and 15 years for fleeing to elude.

Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia said Ryan Dougherty's sentences will be concurrent, meaning they'll be served simultaneously after his time in federal prison.

Asked why Dougherty might not have decided to go to trial, Garcia declined to speculate, but noted the stack of other sentences he'll already be serving.

"Why fight it?"

Contact Alex Orlando at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

Member of rampaging Dougherty gang sentenced in Pasco 07/25/14 [Last modified: Friday, July 25, 2014 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. John Morgan 'prepared to invest $100M' in medical marijuana

    State Roundup

    John Morgan spent nearly $7 million pushing two statewide ballot initiatives to expand medical marijuana throughout the state of Florida.

    Personal injury lawyer John Morgan says he's ready to invest $100 million in medical marijuana. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Avalos gets life in prison for killing Bradenton neighbor, pastor

    Crime

    BRADENTON — A Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor.

    Andres "Andy" Avalos has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a neighbor and a local pastor. 

[File photo from Manatee County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Manchester police hunt for accomplices; Islamic State group claims responsibility for blast

    Public Safety

    MANCHESTER, England — Investigators hunted Tuesday for possible accomplices of the suicide bomber who attacked an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people and sparking a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star's trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. Several people have died following reports of an explosion Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England, police said. A representative said the singer was not injured.  [Peter Byrne | PA via AP]
  4. Why's Pam Bondi raising money? Not to run for office, she says.

    Blogs

    Term-limited Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi may have restarted her political fundraising, but she says she's not considering a run for another public office.

    Attorney General Pam Bondi
  5. Roommates in Tampa Palms slaying case never outgrew Nazi sympathies, friend says

    Crime

    TAMPA — Like most people, Watson Fincher was shocked to hear that a neo-Nazi turned jihadi stands accused of killing his two Tampa Palms roommates — and that a fourth roommate told federal agents he, too, was a neo-Nazi, had bomb materials and was planning to target infrastructure.

    Authorities investigating a double murder Friday in the Hampton at Tampa Palms complex found explosives and bomb-manking materials in an apartment there. [ANASTASIA DAWSON   |   Times]