Man involved in high speed chase dies in Kearney hospital

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 ~ Updated 11:27 AM

KEARNEY, Neb. — A Kansas man who was involved in a high-speed chase last month died Monday after being taken off life support in a Kearney hospital.

An ambulance was dispatched to the Red Willow County Jail at 6:25 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, after the man, Keaneu Depe, 23, was found hanging in his cell.

McCook police attempted to arrest Depe Dec. 29 at Walmart in a truck stolen from Colby, Kan., when he drove north at speeds over 100 mph, turning around a pasture north of Maywood before finally being stopped between Maywood and McCook.

He refused to get out of his vehicle and started a fire in the cab of the truck, suffering smoke inhalation.

Red Willow County Attorney Paul Wood said an autopsy would be conducted today in Omaha.

He said a grand jury would be called to investigate the case, as required by law any time a prisoner dies in custody.

A companion, Richard Blake, 35, Arvada, Colo., was taken into custody without incident walking east from McCook’s Walmart at the same time when police attempted to arrest Depe.

Blake is charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance, theft by receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His preliminary hearing was set for today at 3:30 p.m. in Red Willow County Court.

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