Man accused of kidnapping wife, leading police on interstate chase pleads insanity

Patrick Berthelot changed plea Tuesday
Patrick Berthelot.jpg
Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 18:52:05-04

CINCINNATI — The truck driver accused of holding his wife hostage in his semi as he led police on a chase down Interstates 275 and 71 in July has changed his not guilty plea Tuesday.

Attorneys for Patrick Berthelot, 40 of Alabama, have filed a new motion saying their client is unfit to stand trial. Berthelot amended his plea Tuesday to "not guilty by reason of insanity."

Berthelot was arrested on July 18 after an hours-long chase up and down the interstate in Butler and Hamilton counties. At one point, he left his wife on the interstate and kept driving, as police took her to the hospital with a leg injury.

After a police sharpshooter hit Berthelot's truck to disable his engine, Berthelot held himself at knifepoint as police used non-lethal methods to take him into custody.

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Berthelot stands charged with several counts of felony assault, one count of kidnapping and failure to comply with a police order.

It wasn't Berthelot's first brush with the law -- he evaded jail time in 2019, when he was indicted in Georgia for aggravated assault and assault against his present wife. In 2012, he was charged with attempted murder in Alabama against a different girlfriend. Prosecutors dismissed the attempted murder charge, and Berthelot received probation after pleading guilty to domestic violence.

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Berthelot is currently lodged in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $275,000 bond.

A scheduling conference for Berthelot's current case is set for Aug. 18 at 8:30 a.m.