MOUNT VERNON — The woman who allegedly rode shotgun in Darren Price's vehicle on the day of the Fredericktown police shooting was arrested Saturday on unrelated felony warrants, Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville said.
Susan R. Denuit, 39, of Mount Vernon, was arrested by Knox County Sheriff's deputies during a traffic stop late Saturday night. The traffic stop took place at 10:59 p.m. on Waterford Road in Fredericktown, near the Route 13 bypass, Lt. Tim Light said.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office had issued multiple warrants for Denuit's arrest in March, court records indicate, as she had failed to report to her pre-trial release officer. Denuit was set to face trial in April on charges of aggravated possession of drugs (a third-degree felony) and aggravated trafficking in drugs (a fourth-degree felony), stemming from incidents that allegedly took place in 2020.
Denuit was taken into custody Saturday night and transported to the Knox County Jail. She appeared virtually in the Knox County Court of Common Pleas on Wednesday, where Judge Richard Wetzel set her bond at $100,000 (with $2,500 going toward a GPS monitor, which Wetzel would order Denuit to wear if her full bond were to be posted).
Denuit is scheduled to face trial in this case on Aug. 24.
It's unclear whether Denuit will face charges for her role in the Fredericktown police shooting incident. McConville declined to comment Wednesday.
Denuit was allegedly riding shotgun in Price's maroon Pontiac sedan on June 17, when Price appeared to point a gun at Fredericktown Patrolman Josh Jones during a traffic stop. The incident resulted in several shots fired and a high-speed chase through northern Knox County.
Price, 38, of Howard, ultimately lost Jones near the Richland County line and abandoned his vehicle. He was located by detectives in a North Liberty residence on June 24 and taken into custody. He was indicted by a Knox County grand jury July 6 on four felony charges stemming from the incident, and has since pleaded not guilty to all.
Denuit, however, had remained at-large until Saturday. McConville said last week that detectives were "very busy" searching for her, although he declined to release her identity at the time.
“The information law enforcement has been giving me is that she was in Knox County for the most part, and was just laying very low and not moving around during the daytime," McConville said Wednesday. "I had heard several alleged locations thrown out where she was holed up and none of those panned out.”
Jones told dispatchers during the high-speed pursuit that he saw a female passenger in the car with Price. Law enforcement officials were able to confirm the identity of the individual through further investigation, McConville said.
"There was a receipt that was found in the vehicle that Price was driving and it was for a store that’s up in the mall at Ontario," McConville said. "So detectives went to that store and said, 'Do you have security video from the time this receipt was made?' And they sent them a still frame of Darren Price at the register with Susan Denuit.
"The detectives were like, 'Oh, we know her. We’ve been looking for her.'"
It's unclear whether Price and Denuit hid together at any point in time following the abandonment of the vehicle on June 17. McConville declined to comment Wednesday, but did say their relationship appeared to be drug-related.
Price was indicted Monday by a Knox County grand jury on one count of aggravated drug possession (a third-degree felony). This charge stemmed from a traffic stop March 31, court records indicate, where Price was allegedly found with 10 grams of meth.
Denuit had previously been caught with meth, as well as other drugs, McConville said, which resulted in the current charges she faces.
"We know she has a history of trafficking," McConville said.
There were no drugs recovered from the abandoned vehicle following the June 17 shooting, McConville said. There were also no drugs recovered from Price or Denuit when they were arrested on June 24 and July 10, respectively.
Like Price, Denuit was reportedly uninjured at the time of her arrest, McConville said. Both arrests reportedly went peacefully.
After being indicted for the March drug charge Monday, Price pleaded not guilty to the charge Wednesday. Wetzel set his bond at $50,000 (his bond in the shooting case, which includes a no-contact order with Denuit, remains at $500,000).
Price is scheduled to face trial in both cases – the March 31 drug bust and the June 17 police shooting – on Sept. 14.
It remains unclear if Price fired any bullets during the June 17 incident, or if his weapon was loaded. Jones was not injured afterwards.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the incident, McConville said Wednesday, and new evidence could result in additional charges.
McConville confirmed last week that Jones fired seven shots from his duty-issued pistol that day. A Knox County grand jury found this use of deadly force was justified as self-defense, and Jones was cleared July 6 of any wrongdoing.
A FPD use-of-force review board determined July 7 that Jones had not committed any policy violations during the incident, Chief Kyle Johnson said. Jones returned to work last Friday.