Thursday, December 11, 2014

Man who once stole Beechcraft 36 Bonanza (N5470V) convicted of felony evading in a vehicle

ATHENS - A man who once stole an airplane, crashed it and then later told Athens police a deceased man was the pilot, has been convicted of felony evading in a stolen vehicle. 

Henderson County District Attorney Scott McKee said Joshua Paul Calhoun, 34, of Athens, was convicted Wednesday of evading in a vehicle and using the vehicle as a deadly weapon during a police chase.

McKee said the latest crime occurred on June 18 when Henderson County Sheriff's deputies learned Calhoun was driving a stolen 2002 Dodge pickup on Texas Highway 155 south near Coffee City.

Calhoun ran from deputies topping 90 MPH before crashing the vehicle in a hay pasture and fleeing on foot.

McKee said a manhunt resulted in Calhoun's capture and information inside the pickup proved Calhoun was the person who stole the pickup. 

"The discretion, bravery and caution that these deputies used during this pursuit, safely ended what could have easily been a deadly situation," he said.

McKee said the deputies' investigation gave his office the tools needed to seek the conviction.

Calhoun stole a Beechcraft 36 Bonanza plane from the Athens Municipal Airport in March 2009, crashed it and fled the scene. 

In August 2009, Calhoun injured a federal agent with his vehicle at the Mexico border as he entered the U.S. and the Immigration Customs Enforcement agents learned he was not a doctor on a mission trip as he had said, but instead, a fugitive from justice. 

Records indicate Calhoun has a lengthy criminal history and he has claimed to be the CEO of a major corporation, a doctor, an astronaut and a tractor-trailer driver. 

McKee said Calhoun's sentencing has been scheduled for Feb. 12 in Athens.

- Source:


NTSB Identification: CEN09CA186

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation 
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 04, 2009 in Athens, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/2009
Aircraft: BEECH A36, registration: N5470V
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After jumpstarting the airplane, the non-certificated pilot elected to take off without the airplane owner's knowledge or permission. A short time later the airplane was found in a wooded area approximately 2 miles northeast of the airport. The airplane's right wing had been separated from the fuselage during the impact. The pilot was later apprehended by law enforcement officers while attempting to retrieve his automobile from the airport. Inspectors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later interviewed the pilot at the county jail. When asked what had caused the accident, the pilot responded that he didn't know and that another person had crashed the airplane. A witness at the airport saw the pilot take off shortly before the accident and then called the owner of the aircraft, who contacted police. Although the pilot reported to FAA inspectors that he had accumulated 200-300 total flight hours, it could not be verified.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The non-certificated pilot's failure to maintain control during his unauthorized use of the airplane.

  August 2009:   Fugitive was sought by local and federal agents.

“The list of troubles continues to grow for a 28-year-old Brownsboro man.

Joshua Paul Calhoun, under indictment for the March theft of an airplane from the Athens Municipal Airport, was arrested in Wood County Sunday. He had eluded law officers in several parts of the state after driving away from a check-point on the Texas-Mexico border last month.

Calhoun was held in Wood County Jail Monday. Charges included

• theft and failure to appear in court from Henderson County;

• evading arrest with a motor vehicle and evading on foot from Canton Police Department and

• theft of property ($100,000 to $200,000) from the Wood County Sheriff’s Department.

Total bond on the charges was set at $46,500.

Calhoun was also held without bond an a federal warrant from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Saturday night Calhoun avoided capture in Henderson County after he was spotted on U.S. Highway 175 near Eustace.

“We had a sting set up,” HCSO Captain Kay Langford said.

Calhoun was driving east in a 97 model black and silver Dodge pickup, headed toward Athens when an officer shot out two of his tires. Calhoun left the vehicle and escaped on foot.

“The vehicle was located the following day on Porter’s Bluff,” Langford said.

Sunday, officers learned that Calhoun had taken another vehicle. The new truck had GPS that enabled law officers to determine his location and make the arrest without incident.

The large-scale hunt for Calhoun began after he failed to show for his arraignment in the 173rd Judicial District Court on July 23rd. District Attorney Scott McKee’s office requested a warrant for Calhoun.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the United States District Court, the same day Calhoun was due in court he attempted to re-enter the United States at the international bridge between Mexico and the U.S. in Roma.

A check of a criminal database revealed an active warrant for his arrest. Bridge security asked him to step outside of his truck, but Calhoun took off instead.

Calhoun was arrested March 4 after he allegedly stole and crashed an airplane that was parked at Athens Municipal Airport. Athens Police Department reports said Calhoun drove a pickup to the Airport sometime after 7 a.m., and claimed to be the owner of the craft.

Calhoun reportedly told authorities at the time of his arrest that he had wired the plane’s owner $52,000 to purchase it.

Calhoun said he made the money to buy the plane working in the oil fields.

Calhoun said he had flown the plane to family property near Echo Lake in the Brownsboro area then gave the keys to a friend to fly back to the airport. He said it was the friend who crashed the plane.

Calhoun later learned from police that the man he claims flew and ultimately crashed the plane died in October 2008.

He was arrested later that morning after returning to the airport.

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