Suspect pleads guilty to two car thefts in return for residential drug treatment

A man who has racked up more than 100 criminal charges since 1997, with 14 cases last year alone, took a plea agreement in his two most recent cases and will enter a residential treatment program in Ketchikan.

On Wednesday, Dirk Daugherty, 36, pleaded guilty to first-degree vehicle theft in connection with the theft of a vehicle from a repair shop on Dec. 16. He also pleaded guilty to a new charge of first-degree vehicle theft that dated back to an Oct. 15, 2016 incident.

Assistant public defender Eric Hedland said he had worked out an plea agreement with Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp in which his client would be sentenced to 16 months in jail, which Daugherty would serve in KAR House, a residential treatment program. If Daugherty does not complete the program, then he will have to serve 18 months in jail with no credit for the time he spent in treatment.

“Not everybody makes it through treatment,” Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg warned Daugherty. “Internal motivation is what makes it work.”

Daugherty will be released from custody on May 16 to his mother, who will take him to Ketchikan; he is set to return to court in Juneau for a status hearing on July 18.

Daugherty has been involved in 42 court cases since 1997, including dozens related to theft.

In August, he was arrested while crawling out the window after burglarizing a business on Glacier Highway; he reportedly had stolen a Carhartt jacket worth about $90. He subsequently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespass. Between late August and the end of November, he racked up an additional eight misdemeanor cases that included shoplifting and trespassing charges.

• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or

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