Local woman charged in RV pursuit case

A woman arrested after leading police on a pursuit while driving an RV with two dogs inside was charged Thursday with nine felony counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Julie Ann Rainbird, aka Julie Ann Fehlman, 52,  of Santa Clarita, faces one felony count each of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing serious bodily injury, hit-and-run driving resulting in serious injury to another person and cruelty to an animal, as well as three counts each of assault with a deadly weapon, RV, and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person.

The prosecutor’s case includes allegations of causing great bodily injury and of a prior conviction for ID theft in 2015, D.A. spokesman Ricardo Santiago said in a news release issued Thursday.

Rainbird pleaded not guilty to the charges, and is scheduled to return on June 3 to Department H of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch, he said.

On May 21, deputies tried to detain Rainbird at her RV, near The Old Road and Calgrove Boulevard in Valencia, where she then started the vehicle and fled.

During the pursuit, the defendant is charged with ramming into several vehicles, causing injuries to the drivers, prosecutors said.

The pursuit ended with a crash in Tarzana where one of her dogs was injured, prosecutors added.

If convicted as charged, Rainbird faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 14 years in state prison. Bail is scheduled at $395,000.

The case remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Newhall Station.

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