A man Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox called an “extremely violent” and “dangerous felon” was taken into custody Tuesday following a multi-county pursuit of a pickup truck.
The man was wanted by Linn County and federal authorities, and several other law enforcement agencies were involved in the pursuit. Information obtained by authorities indicated that the suspect was most likely armed is a person of interest in a recent armed robbery, and would not go back to jail.
The truck was driven by 37-year-old Matthew Guilford, of Brookfield, Missouri. Guilford had a warrant for his arrest from Linn County for felony possession of a controlled substance and felony trafficking drugs. The warrant was the result of an investigation by the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. Guilford also had a Federal Parole warrant issued for his arrest with the original charge of felon in possession of a firearm.
Guilford failed to stop for the Linn County Deputy and a lengthy pursuit ensued. The pursuit traveled through Linn, Livingston, Carroll, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. At approximately 4 p.m., after the second successful deployment of spike strips, Guilford stopped on Business 65, south of Fitzgibbon Hospital, in Marshall, Missouri, and was taken into custody without incident.
Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox reports Guilford drove the truck north on Highway 36 near Wheeling and nearly hit a Livingston County Sheriff vehicle head-on at a high rate of speed. The vehicle turned onto U. S. 36 traveling west, and the right front tire struck spike strips used by Livingston County Deputy John Stafford. The driver continued west, allegedly saw more officers with spike strips deployed, crossed into the on-coming traffic on U. S. 36, and continued west in the eastbound lanes to Chillicothe. He went up the eastbound ramp going the wrong direction before turning south onto U. S. 65.
Cox notes the driver traveled at speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour and was “a danger to everyone.” The right front pickup tire went flat, and the tire came off the rim near Carrollton. The Carrollton Police Department blocked entrances into Carrollton, and the chase continued south on U. S. 65 into Saline County. Two state troopers deployed spike strips in Saline County, and another trooper used spike strips further south.
Marshall and Saline County officers blocked entrances into Marshall from U. S. 65 and gave the suspect an opportunity to only continue south. The vehicle reportedly came to rest around the south side of Marshall without at least two tires before the suspect was taken into custody.
Cox says he observed methamphetamine on the driver’s seat and interior of the suspect’s vehicle, law enforcement observed the man throwing an item or items from the vehicle, and a Missouri Fire Marshal Investigator located at least one item south of Chillicothe on U. S. 65. Evidence was to be collected by Saline County authorities.
Carrollton Police Chief Christopher Looney said his department would not seek local charges because no Carrollton residents were injured, and no property was damaged there during the pursuit.
There was concern the fugitive was going to shoot at law enforcement and if able to elude officers of the potential to harm innocent individuals.
Livingston County K-9 Zaki and Deputy Nicholas Leadbetter were called to assist with the incident in case a K-9 was needed to take the suspect into custody. Zaki was at the stop and arrest, but he was not directed to engage the suspect, however, Zaki helped with the prisoner transport of the fugitive to assist the Linn County Sheriff, as the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office K-9 vehicle has a prisoner transport cage.
Guilford is currently incarcerated at the Macon County Sheriff’s Office for the Linn County warrant and the federal parole warrant. The bond on the Linn County Warrant is $50,000 cash only. No bond is authorized on the federal parole warrant. The Linn County Sheriff’s Office will apply for formal charges against Guilford in multiple counties in relation to the additional alleged crimes committed on February 11, 2020.