Saturday, August 13, 2011 by Cherry Watson
Lee Grace Dougherty shooting Police officer in Florida - The Doughertys had been the subject of a nationwide search for a week. The trio is accused of shooting at a police officer in Florida during a high-speed chase. Police said a couple hours later three people wearing masks robbed a bank in Valdosta, Ga. According to police, one of the suspects used an AK-47 assault rifle. Another was believed to be using a "machine" pistol.
Lee Grace Dougherty, 29, and her younger brothers Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, and Ryan Dougherty, 21, went on the run Tuesday after opening fire on and disabling a cop cruiser that attempted to pull the trio over for speeding in Zephyrhills, FL. Later that day the "Dougherty Gang" robbed a Georgia bank about 200 miles away with AK-47s.
The Doughertys have all been in and out of trouble with the law much of their adult lives. Most recently Lee Grace was wanted on probation violations after a hit and run incident May 17. Ryan was sentenced to 12 years of probation on Aug. 1 for sending nearly 400 sexually explicit text messages to an 11-year-old girl he met on MySpace. As part of his plea bargain Ryan was required to register as a sex offender. His failure to do so was a violation of his probation and would have resulted in jail time had the trio been pulled over in Zephyrhills.
Police believe the three siblings are armed with an arsenal of weapons they had stockpiled in an underground bunker below the house they shared. While the gang has not killed anyone yet, no one is expecting this crime spree to end peacefully. The three even sent their mother a prophetic text message, reading, "There's a time for all of us to die."
In what now seems like an obvious sign that Lee Grace, a former exotic dancer at Cheaters in Cocoa Beach, was due for a crime spree, below is how she described herself on her Flickr profile:
"I am a Floridian. Born and raised in Seminole County. I have a huge crazy family. I'm 28 but act like I'm 17 most of the time. I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it. I like milk and German engineering and causing mayhem with my siblings."
They face charges of attempted murder of a peace officer and assault on a peace officer. The charges stem from allegations that they shot at authorities in Colorado.
Lee Dougherty was shot in the leg by Walsenburg, Colo., Police Chief James Chamblerlain after she pointed a machine gun at him, according to the affidavit. The document says she later told police, "I deserved to get shot."
Their mother, Barbara Bell of East Palatka, Fla., spoke briefly Thursday to The Associated Press but declined to discuss their ordeal, saying she didn't think it would help them in the long run.
"Thank God they're not tried by the media," she said. "They're tried in a court of law and their story will come out at that time."
Bell hung up the phone shortly after a reporter called, saying she needed to keep the line open for concerned family members to reach her.