Bellaire Man Sentenced After Running From Routine Traffic Stop


The Bellaire man who ran from a routine traffic stop, and holed up in his home with a gun, was sentenced this morning.

51- year-old Walter Burkhart was sentenced to six months of home confinement, and another two and a half years of probation.

His drivers license was suspended for the entire period, but at his employer’s urging, the judge agreed that Burkhart will be allowed to drive to and from work.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated menacing, and failure to comply with the order of a police officer.

Defense Attorney, Elgine McArdle, said, “I think justice was served and I think Judge Fregiato issued a fair sentence. And of course there was a harsh sanction in the event he violates, and in the event he violates, he will be sentenced to the penitentiary for a year.”

Bellaire Police Chief, Mike Kovalyk, said, “If they are stopping you, you are stopping you for a reason. Yes you have the ability to go to court and contest what you’re charged with, but to flee from an officer or to resist or not comply with that officer, then you are putting a lot of people at risk.”

According to Officials, Burkhart had no prior criminal history except for minor traffic violations.

The judge ordered all his guns to be removed from the home.

His defense attorney said Burkhart was held up at gunpoint at work 16 years ago, and the robber pointed the gun at him, and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun misfired.

Officials also said, it had a long lasting traumatic effect.

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